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Assam-Nagaland meet to diffuse jhum tension



Dimapur, February 16 (MExN): A coordination meeting was organised by the Border Peace Coordination Committee (Assam-Nagaland) under the aegis of the district administrations of both Jorhat under Assam and Mokokchung district under Nagaland, today at Sotai TE public ground near Akumen village.
The meeting was to defuse tensions in the Mogroigaon area under Nakachari Police out post in Jorhat district in Assam and Akumen-Tsuremmen village areas under the jurisdiction of the EAC of Longchem in Mokokchung district. Tension mounted in this tiny area of the Assam-Nagaland border on February 12 last when a portion of Jhum cultivation area belonging to Akumen and Tsuremmen villagers was allegedly burnt by individuals believed to be from the Assam side.
Public leaders, elders, NGOs, village functionaries and officials from both the states took part in today’s deliberation. The Assam team was led by SDC-Border Magistrate of Mariani revenue circle Debanand Das while the Nagaland side was led by Moa Lemtur, EAC of Longchem and OC of Longchem with DBs.
Village Council Chairmen from Lirmen, Tsuremmen and Akumen along with council members attended the meeting while Assam villages of Mogroi and surrounding villages in large numbers turned up in the meet. Representatives from the Border Peace Coordination Committee, All Assam Students Union, All Assam Tai Ahom Students and All Assam Tea Tribal Students participated in the meeting.
It was informed that the day of the incident was Sunday and most of the villagers were attending church. On hearing loud crackling sounds, the village’s youth rushed to the spot and finding the fire they brought the fire under control around noon. The village youth also reportedly spotted four young Assamese youths fleeing from the site. This led to the village youths chasing the miscreants who fled towards the Assam side. It was reported that when they failed to apprehend the four Assamese youth, one Ramen Murmu residing near the site at the border was physically assaulted and his residential house damaged. Also a tea plantation belonging to one Rubol Gogoi was damaged by the youth the same day, it was informed.
In response, residents of Mogroi villagers with support from people of nearby villages of Assam obstructed movement of Naga residents along the roads leading to Nagaland. As the incident about attack on Assam village spread, people gathered in the area and attacked a Nagaland Forest department employee P. Imtitemsu who was coming from Dimapur to visit his aged parents in Akumen village. The mob also reportedly destroyed his mobile phone and snatched his money and other belongings.
The situation remained tense throughout the past few days. According to a report, a group of people from Tsuremmen village who were commuting to Akumen village to attend a funeral at Akumen on Monday via Mogroi village (No road connectivity between Tsuremmen and Akumen) were sent off by villagers of Mogroi. This created more tensions between the border villagers.
After thorough deliberations, the meeting demanded that the authorities of both the state governments look into the matter seriously and award financial assistance to the aggrieved parties at the earliest. A coordination meeting between the villages of Akumen, Tsuremmen, Lirmen (Nagaland) and Mogroi (Assam) would be held at the earliest to instil peace amongst the bordering villages. It was also decided that cattle belonging to Assam-bordering villages that stray into Naga villages should not be killed or harmed but to report to the GBs of the concerned Assam villages for meaningful dialogue and negotiation for penalty if any.
All the parties affirm that no more such incidents take place in the vicinity but keep vigil for maintenance for peace at all cost, the meeting decided.
 
 


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