4 Nagaland sub-divs in Assam in 15 yrs

JORHAT, Aug 27 – Taking advantage of the inactivity and indifference of the Assam government, the neighbouring state, Nagaland has formally declared as many as four administrative subdivisions in Assam’s land during the last 15 years. This happened only in the Dhanshiri subdivision of Golaghat district, where the Naga people encroached a large portion of the district along the A and B sectors of the disputed inter-state border.

Though the issue of inter-state border dispute reached the supreme court long back, no concrete decision has been made till date which has stopped the Assam government as well as concerned district administration to take action against the encroachers on one hand and encouraged the encroachers to carry on their act in Assam land, on the other.

The local commission formed in September 2006 headed by the retired Judge of Supreme Court, Justice S N Variava to determine the Assam-Nagaland and Assam-Arunachal borders has itself undergone several changes including the replacement of justice Variava with Justice Tarun Chatterjee by the Supreme Court order in January this year.

In 1987 Nagaland government formally declared the ‘Newland Subdivision’ in the Sector B of the Dhanshiri subdivision of Golaghat district. In 1991 the ‘Kohabotu Subdivision’ was formally declared in the Sector A of the Dhanshiri subdivision inside Assam Border. Thereafter it declared the two other Naga subdivisions namely ‘Haladhighat’ and ‘Runak’ in the Naojan-Chungajan and Uriamghat areas respectively around the year 2005. The sign boards of these Nagaland subdivisions are still erected within the very territory of Assam. The activities of establishing the Naga villages, offices and market places are still going on in full swing in those areas, even though the dispute is subjudice.

Though Nagaland was prepared to declare its fifth subdivision in Assam’s land at Sector D under Golaghat subdivision of the district, due to the timely action taken by the district administration it failed to declare it formally, a source stated.

When contacted, Golaghat deputy commissioner H N Bora told this correspondent that the border issue in the district was the dispute between two governments. As the dispute is subjudice, the necessary action can be taken only after a decision is taken. He further said that the district administration was ready to execute any order from the government in this context.

The never ending dispute over the border area has claimed lives of many, left thousands of Assamese people homeless and other several thousand living there kept under constant pressure from the militants of the neighbouring state. In 1979, the clash between the Nagas and Assamese claimed the lives of 54 Assamese people. In 1989 as many as 11 Assamese were shot dead by the Naga militants at Rajapukhuri at Sector B. In 1994 the armed Nagas killed the Gaonburha of No 2 Rajapukhuri Village and burnt down 55 houses of the Assamese people. Three persons were brutally murdered by Nagas near Nakhuti Bazar the next year. In 2004, the Naga gunmen killed Dipankar Das, border Magistrate of Golaghat.

Likewise the D sector remained tense during the last several decades. On June 4, 1985 as many as 28 jawans of Assam Battalion and 12 civilians were killed by Naga miscreants at Merapani of the Sector D. As many as 96 Assamese villages were burnt down and 7606 families had to take shelter in the refugee camps.