In a sensational allegation, the Nagaland Government has termed the inter-state border row in Dissoi valley as a handiwork of Assam Congress MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi.
Speaking exclusively to Northeast Live, senior BJP leader and Nagaland Government Spokesperson Mmhonlumo Kikon termed the firing incident as politically motivated and blamed Mariani MLA Kurmi for the incident.
Kikon also maintained that the Chief Ministers of both states have been in touch on the issue for a very long time.
The inter-state boundary dispute between Assam and Nagaland came to focus after the Congress MLA from Assam had a narrow escape on Thursday after alleged miscreants from the Nagaland side opened fire during the latter’s visit to the Dissoi Valley reserve forest near the border.
The shocked Congress MLA, narrated his ordeal, after experiencing what he termed a near-death situation terming the situation critical.
The site of the incident is less than 10 kilometers from Mariani town, and the MLA along with his 2 PSOs and three police constables went to inspect the spot after complaints of large-scale encroachment by villagers from the Nagaland side.
According to sources, the Naga villagers fired after they saw a large contingent approaching from Assam side along with policemen, presuming it to be an eviction drive.
Tension between the two states over alleged encroachment in Dissoi valley has been building for some time. The Dissoi Valley forest was also in news last year, when a major flare up resulted in some Assam organizations imposing a total economic blockade on the vital Mariani to Mokukchong road.
Locals on the Assam side, including the local MLA claimed that Nagaland has encroached upon over 10 kms of the 12 km Dissoi valley reserve.
When a team of Assam police led by Special DGP GP Singh accompanied by DC and SP Jorhat visited the disputed inter-state border site on Friday, it was decided that a complete ground report will be submitted to the state government on whether the Supreme Court directed status quo has been violated.
Assam also urged authorities in Nagaland to ensure suspension of all activities along the disputed area besides calling for joint patrolling of forest departments of both states in the area.
It was also decided that a DC or SP level meet will be held latest by Monday apart from a separate IG border level meet to get to the crux of the matter. The Mokukchung SP has also been asked to identify those behind the attack on Kurmi and whether they were using licensed weapons.
Nagaland and Assam share a 512-kilometre boundary and a dispute that has been going on for over five decades. Both states have refused to accept recommendations of two commissions set up by Centre to solve the issue and a suit is pending in Supreme Court on the issue since 1988.
Scores have died in the violent face offs related to the inter-state border dispute, the most infamous among which is the Marapani flare-up of 1985 when 41 people died on the Assam side.