Tensions rose today along the Assam-Nagaland border when Aosenden villagers returned to the forest to continue their jhum activities that had been halted since March 8.
Locals said it was their first outing to the forest since Assamese miscreants reportedly set fire to the Aosenden village jhum cultivation area on March 8.
According to the Aosenden Villagers, the forest area that they are clearing for their jhum activity is their “ancestral land” and claims that they have cultivated twice (in the same region) without any disruption or issue from Assam in the previous few decades. However, Assam residents claim that it is ‘rampant encroachment by the Naga miscreants at Dissoi valley forest area along the Assam-Nagaland border in Mariani’.
According to locals, at approximately 2:15 p.m., Wednesday, a team of Assam forest officials, police, and media people arrived at the location where they were clearing the forest, but they did not meet up close since they ended up in a verbal quarrel from a distance.
In response to certain Assam media claims that bullets were fired, villagers denied using any firearms and stated they merely chanted aloud and exchanged a verbal spat.
Meanwhile, it is being reported that there is outrage among Assamese people over the dismal role of the Assam Administration in not treating the situation seriously as “Naga miscreants wreak havoc on Assam’s land.”
Whereas in Nagaland, the villagers are becoming tired of what they perceive is harassment in their own land and also for hindering their only means of livelihood. In fact, they have been having difficulty meeting with the district administration this time.
According to the villagers, the administration officials are now out of station. Yet, they indicated that they had spoken with them over the phone and are looking into the situation.
It may be recalled that on February 13, border officials from both states met in Chungtiayimsen Village and agreed to maintain the status quo but tension arose on March 8.
With both district administrations failing to come up with a viable long-term solution, insiders feel it is time for the two states to intervene at a higher level and seek out a political solution.
Competent officials of the district administration could not be reached for comments at the time of filing this report.