GUWAHATI: Assam and Nagaland chief secretaries had a meeting at Dimapur on Saturday and decided to pull back their respective armed forces to their base camps to deescalate the tension prevailing in two stretches on the inter-state border.
Today's meeting discussed the disputes over Dessoi Valley and Tsurangkong Valley, where police personnel of the two states are in a standoff. Today's meeting decided that the armed forces of both the states shall simultaneously move from their present locations to their respective base camps within 24 hours.
Reacting to today's meeting, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, "This is a historic step in our relations. I express my gratitude to Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio for working with Assam for restoring peace on the border. Assam is committed to ensuring peace along its borders and strives for social and economic prosperity for the northeastern region."
Assam Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua said, "Nagaland Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton and Assam Education Minister Ranuj Pegu were present at today's meeting. The meeting decided that both the states will monitor the two areas – Dessoi Valley and Tsurangkong Valley – through surveillance using UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) commonly called drones and satellite imageries to maintain the status quo. Jorhat and Mokokchang SPs shall ensure an orderly withdrawal of their respective forces. If we notice a violation of status through satellite imageries, we will have to inform each other for taking corrective measures."
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma wrote to his Nagaland counterpart Rio on June 26, 2021, on Dessoi Valley, "We are of the view that amicable settlements of border disputes are of paramount importance to ensure peaceful coexistence of the neighbouring villages of the two states.
"The disputed stretch in the Dessoi Valley is sub-judice in the Supreme Court of India. Any violation by either side changing the status quo will violate the direction of the Court. I strongly feel that there is no alternative to holding discussions and thus arriving at a solution amicably. Chief Secretary and Home Secretary-level interactions at the State level can successfully resolve such issues."
According to official records, Nagaland encroached upon 55,396 hectares of Assam land, mostly forest land. In the past five years, there were 99 incidents along the Assam-Nagaland border.