GUWAHATI: Embroiled in a bitter border row for decades, Assam and Nagaland have stressed on the need for maintenance of status quo and peace.
Led by their chief secretaries, senior officials of both states met after a gap of six years on Friday in Nagaland’s Dimapur town.
A senior Assam government official, who attended the meeting, said both sides had agreed to meet more frequently.
“We discussed various issues including the maintenance of the status quo and peace along the border. It was insisted that there shouldn’t be an escalation of any trivial incident into a full-blown crisis,” the official said.
It was learnt that Nagaland accepted Assam’s proposal for joint patrolling by police personnel. While calling for the maintenance of neutrality by central force as well as Assam police, Nagaland insisted that no unilateral action must be taken along the border that could vitiate peace or create misunderstanding.
The Directors General of Police of the two states besides several District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police attended the meeting.
A case pertaining to the dispute, which has claimed over 100 lives, is pending in the Supreme Court.
The two states share a 512-km long border. The disputed area belt (DAB), which includes reserve forests, lies in Assam’s Golaghat and Jorhat districts and Nagaland’s Wokha and Mokokchung districts. For years, the Central Reserve Police Force has remained deployed to the DAB as a neutral force.
The Supreme Court earlier constituted some commissions, including one that was set up in 1971 and headed by the then Law Commission chairman KVK Sundaram, to resolve the dispute but the efforts yielded no positive results.
Assam also has border disputes with Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Arunachal Pradesh. Some of these states insist on historical boundaries that date back to 1826 when Assam was annexed by the British. Assam alleges that it lost over 75,000 hectares of its land due to encroachment by the neighbours.