GUWAHATI: Amid the hostile situation on its southern front with Mizoram, Assam signed an agreement on Saturday with Nagaland to end the standoff on its eastern front, both agreeing to withdraw each other’s police forces and instead use “UAVs and satellite imagery” to keep a watch on incursions across the disputed boundary between the states and “maintain the status quo”.
The decision was taken at a meeting between Nagaland chief secretary J Alam and his Assam counterpart Jishnu Barua in Dimapur on Saturday. Both sides agreed to withdraw their respective police forces from their present locations on the border to their respective base camps “simultaneously” within 24 hours.
The agreement was signed in the presence of Nagaland deputy CM Y Patton and Assam education minister Ranoj Pegu. “The superintendents of police of the districts of Mokokchung (Nagaland) and Jorhat (Assam) shall ensure orderly withdrawal of their respective forces and shall be responsible for it in the instant case,” the minutes of the meeting state.
Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted the developments, describing them as a “major breakthrough towards de-escalating tensions on the Assam-Nagaland border” and as a “historic step in our relations”. He added: “My gratitude to HCM Sri @Neiphiu_Rio for working with #Assam in restoring peace on the border.”
This is a historic step in our relations. My gratitude to HCM Sri @Neiphiu_Rio for working with #Assam in restoring… https://t.co/OH6U29OCv4
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) 1627724449000
An official spokesperson said the meeting between the two chief secretaries was held “with a view to de-escalating the tense situation prevailing at two locations — the Dessoi Valley Reserve Forest and Tsurangkong Valley — due to a standoff between the armed police forces of Nagaland and Assam”.
In a major breakthrough towards de-escalating tensions at Assam-Nagaland border, the two Chief Secretaries have arr… https://t.co/BEUB0xOKZL
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) 1627724659000
“Both sides agreed that in order to maintain peace and tranquillity in the areas around Ao Senden village and Vikuto village, as they are known in Nagaland, and known as Jankhona Nala/Nagajankha and Compartment No. 12 in Assam, urgent and effective steps are required for ending the standoff between the security forces of Nagaland and Assam,” the minutes stated, adding that it was in this regard that it had been decided to pull back the police forces.
Assam and Nagaland share a 434-km border. The boundary dispute between the two states is more than six decades old and has been marked by frequent skirmishes. In the last major clash, in 1985 at Merapani, 41 people, including 28 Assam policemen, were killed. There have been several attempts by the Centre to resolve the issue.
Source From : Times Of India