Assam officials erect barricade in Aosungkum village only to dismantle it by themselves



Tensions erupted along the Assam-Nagaland border in Mokokchung’s Tzürangkong range in the villages of Aosungkum and Aosenden on Friday, February 10.


T Likok, one of Aosungkum’s council board members, told Mokokchung Times that at around 11:00 AM on Friday, about 15-16 people from the Assam side, who appeared to be administration officials with security personnel, arrived at the village along with media persons.


According to Likok, the Aosungkum villagers had set up a mini saw mill for community use and in the same area there was an ongoing road construction under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) and therefore, “a dumper and a JCB were parked near the saw mill.”


“Those people came and took the keys away from the dumper and JCB driver asking who they were working for. When we told them it was a central scheme, they asked about the saw mill,” Likok narrated.


Likok claimed that the intruders said that they would not allow such activity (saw mill) to take place in the area and brought vehicles to tow the saw mill away.


“They then barricaded the road leading to the saw mill with wooden poles,” he added.



Officials who came from the Assam side of the border erected a barricade in Aosungkum village, Mokokchung on Friday



“A lot of villagers started gathering at the spot, and seeing the large number of villagers, we asked them to leave before the situation flared up,” he explained.


“However, the villagers stopped them and asked them to take down the barricades by themselves that they had erected on their own,” he added. The officials from the Assam side complied.



… but later dismantled it by themselves.



He also stated that the Assam side has given a two-day notice to cease such activity in the area, but said they are continuing with their daily activities as usual, although the villagers are concerned about the situation.


Answering to the allegation thrown by the Assam-based media that the villagers have encroached into Assam land, Likok said, “We have been living here since 1965 and it has been a village for so long. We’ve been carrying on our activities all of those years, so why are they claiming it as their land today?” he asked.


“Previously, when disputes erupted, we resolved with the border committee that, whatever land we have now, we will keep it as it is, and that none of the sides from the two states would interfere with each other. Both states’ border committees have agreed to maintain the status quo. We’ve done nothing wrong. Why are they suddenly making this an issue now?” he argued.


In response to whether they had contacted any Nagaland officials or administration, he stated that the Longtho OC and a Dobashi arrived at the location after the intruders had left.


“We, the villagers, are frequently the victims of poor transportation and long distances. We are to go to Longtho Police Station and the Border Magistrate in Merangmen, but due to election duties, a lot of officials are busy and out of station, so they couldn’t come at the right time,” he said.


“And oftentimes, because of the long distance and poor transportation, administration and authorities often reach very late,” he explained, saying that this has been a great disadvantage for a long time.


A similar incident was reported from Aosungkum’s neighboring village of Aosenden, where Wati, one of the locals, claimed that on Wednesday, some people from Assam stopped the Aosenden villagers from clearing the areas for their fields.


“They suddenly came with the media and when our women folks protested against it, the Assam police showed up. The Assam police claimed it was their land,” Wati said.
He claimed that they left after causing a commotion.


“We’ve been farming on the land for a long time, but they keep disrupting the peace and harmony,” he explained.


Mokokchung Times

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