Assam, Nagaland agree to withdraw forces from inter-state border; Himanta Biswa Sarma calls it historic step

Assam and Nagaland have agreed to withdraw their respective police outposts from their long-disputed border in a bid to defuse any possible ...

Assam and Nagaland have agreed to withdraw their respective police outposts from their long-disputed border in a bid to defuse any possible tension between the two forces.

Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio and his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma agreed to withdraw their police forces and maintain a peaceful atmosphere along the state border, Nagaland's Deputy chief minsiter Y Patton said at a meeting with various organisations of the Tzurangkong area on Friday.

Patton said that the Nagaland Police will withdraw from their outpost as and when the Assam Police does so.

Meanwhile, the Assam chief minister called agreement a 'historic step', and said that the state was committed to ensuring peace along all its borders.

The news assumes significance as it has come amid simmering border tensions between Assam and the neighbouring Mizoram, which lead to violence earlier this week, leaving six people dead.

Sarma, along with a few Assam officials, also face an FIR filed by Mizoram Police that has charged them with attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy, among other things.

Assam DGP posted pictures of the meet with his Nagaland Police counterpart stating that the agreement depicted brotherhood in Northeastern states.

Earlier, Nagaland had protested after the Assam Police allegedly tried to set up a camp close to Vikuto village under Tzurangkong range in Mokokchung district of Nagaland on 29 June. The area is lcoated near Mariani in Assam's Jorhat district.

Nagaland deputy chief minister Patton, who also holds the state home department, conducted an aerial survey of the border during the day.

In the past agreements between the two north-eastern states, police forces from both Assam and Nagaland had agreed to withdraw from the border areas, but Assam did not do it and had, in fact, increased its strength while Nagaland withdrew its forces, claimed Patton.

"We will not make the mistake again," he said at the meeting held at Chungtiayimsen in Mokokchung district.

One should not test the patience of the Nagaland government or the Naga people, the deputy chief minister said.

Patton did not mention when Sarma and Rio decided to withdraw the forces from the border, but the two had met twice in Guwahati and Shillong last week.

"Honoured to have received special visitors at my residence, Nagaland CM Sri @Neiphiu_Rio & Dy CM Sri @YanthungoPatton. I thank them for finding time to discuss a host of development projects of the two states," Sarma had tweeted on 23 July.

Rio has not made any statement on the issue till now.

Patton has also urged the people of Nagaland not to take law into their own hands, but to approach the state government and work together to solve the issue.

The deputy chief minister assured that the border issue is being taken up at the highest level for a peaceful resolution.

Assam and Nagaland share a 512.1 kilometre long border.

Nagaland Director General of Police T John Longkumer, who accompanied the deputy chief minister, appreciated the Tzurangkong range people for not taking the matter into their own hands and worsening the situation.

He said that he has spoken with his counterpart in Assam on the issue of withdrawing forces along the disputed area.

The border dispute between Assam and Nagaland began soon after Nagaland became a state in 1963. The Nagaland State Act of 1962 had defined the state's borders according to a 1925 notification when Naga Hills and Tuensang Area were integrated into a new administrative unit.

Nagaland, however, did not accept the boundary delineation and demanded that the new state should also have all the Naga-dominated areas in North Cachar and Nagaon districts of Assam.

Major clashes on the inter-state border took place several times since 1965.

With inputs from PTI

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India World News: Assam, Nagaland agree to withdraw forces from inter-state border; Himanta Biswa Sarma calls it historic step
Assam, Nagaland agree to withdraw forces from inter-state border; Himanta Biswa Sarma calls it historic step
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