Nagaland-Assam unresolved boundary and mineral exploration issues are subject to political negotiations: WC, NNPGs

Mokokchung, 23 April (MTNews): The Working Committee (WC), Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) has demanded the Nagaland state Chief Minister to withdraw any kind of Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Assam on the “disturbed, unresolved boundary areas and mineral exploration attempt therein, as it is guarded by Naga historical and political sanctity and therefore, immoral and unacceptable to the stakeholders.”

 

In a statement issued on Sunday, WC NNPGs said both Assam and Nagaland do not have any powers to negotiate or enter into mutual agreements on oil exploration or any sharing contract on the unresolved border areas, as the matter has been subject to intense political negotiations between the WC, NNPGs and the Government of India (GoI).

 

“The subject is a core part of Indo-Naga political talks, negotiated and awaiting final agreement between GoI and Naga negotiators. Both Assam and Nagaland State governments are only caretaker governments as far as the disputed areas are concerned,” it said, adding that Nagaland and Assam Governments should not forget the past history of violence and conflict along the borders that cost hundreds of innocent lives and Police personnel. “The handshakes should not invite another round of bloodshed,” it added.

 

The WC, NNPGs said that there are “Armed Revolutionary movements fighting for the right to safeguard their Historical Political rights in both the Regions and therefore the MoUs are premature and unwise as it cannot wash away the stain of thousand bloods.” It cautioned that “the proposed MOU on E&P activities on the Undemarcated borders would have serious consequences in the border areas.”

 

Saying that political leaders should not take the peaceful situation as a license to do anything they wish on land and resources, the WC NNPGs said that they will be held solely responsible for any repercussions in the disputed areas. “Let it be known that Nagas are solely landowners in the disturbed area belt and they have every right to adopt any measure to protect historical and customary rights over land against blatant misuse of power and authority by embezzlers and profiteers,” it said.

 

The WC NNPGs further said that elected representatives of Nagaland Legislature from the oil bearing areas of Mon, Longleng, Mokokchung, Wokha, Niuland, Dimapur and Peren, must understand this proposed MoU on oil exploration by the “Autocratic like Government” is another scam to loot the future of the Naga people.

 

“The onus is on the legislators to make their position clear on the matter. The commitment to work for Indo-Naga Political solution must be applied in letter and spirit. Ignoring the stakeholders, the current dispensation appears to be creating an economic platform to drain the wealth of our future generations,” it added.

 

The WC, NNPGs said it is much disturbed because the opposition-less Government in Nagaland is increasingly exhibiting traits of authoritarianism and added that the people must respond when political and historical rights are shelved into cold storage and societal fabric is twisted roughly through economic imbalances.

 

“WC, NNPGs have not surrendered our ancestral land to any neighbouring States. The political difficulty of Assam leadership in giving back the boundaries is a matter to be resolved by them. Naga history is clear on this subject and we believe peaceful resolution of Nagaland-Assam boundary matter will be in the interest of all parties,” it maintained.

 

The WC, NNPGs held that it anticipates a mutually agreeable position on the matter and said that the Government of India has clearly understood the Naga position and aspiration on the historical, political and possible administrative realignments.

 

“Nagaland state Chief Minister must, therefore, understand the irrefutable body of work of WC, NNPGs in consultation with Naga tribes and relevant Civil societies during and after political negotiations with the GoI. The facts are on the table,” it said.

 

“Finally, any MoU signed with the Assam Government at this crucial juncture shall be considered as a direct attempt to sell off Naga rights for which the consequences will be widespread and unimaginable,” the WC NNPGs cautioned.

 

 

UNTABA ‘discouraged’ by Assam, Nagaland CMs oil exploration agreement in DAB

 

Mokokchung, 23 April (MTNews): The United Naga Tribes Association on Border Areas (UNTABA) on Sunday expressed discouragement over the reported agreement made between the Chief Ministers of Assam and Nagaland on the issue of oil exploration in the Disputed Area Belts (DABs) between the two states.

 

In a press release issued on Sunday, UNTABA said that the boundary dispute between the two states is sub-judice as the ‘Civil Suit No.2 of 1988,’ filed by the Government of Assam against the Election Commission of India, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Government of Nagaland, is still pending in the Supreme Court of India.

 

“As such, until and unless the Civil Suit is withdrawn by the Appellant, no positive steps can be undertaken by both the Appellant and the Defendant,” UNTABA stated in the press release issued by its Chairman, Hukavi T Yeputhomi and General Secretary Imsumongba Pongen.

 

UNTABA further reminded that the two Chief Ministers had on 24 January 2022 announced in Guwahati that the boundary disputes will be settled outside the court.

 

“In this connection, the UNTABA team had an opportunity of meeting the hon’ble Minister, Atul Bora, who is in charge of the Border Affairs of the Government of Assam on 26th January, 2022 at Jorhat and requested him to consider for withdrawing the Civil Suit No.2 of 1988 filed by the AGP Government of Assam so that the issue of the boundary dispute between the two states could be solved outside the court,” it said. The Assam minister admitted that the Civil Suit is an impediment, it said.

 

“Now, therefore, any exploration for mineral resources, including petroleum products, in the so-called Disputed Area Belts between the two States is uncalled for and impractical since the issue is sub-judice matter and that Naga people can never accept the wrong interpretations of historical facts over its land,” UNTABA said.

 

The Association further claimed that ‘historical realities of the Naga people over its land covers 4,974.16 square miles or an equivalent of 12,883.07 square kilometers which roughly covers parts of present Diphu, Nowgong, Golaghat, Jorhat, Tinsukia and Dibrugarh Districts.

 

UNTABA said that this issue has been highlighted to the Prime Minister of India, Home Minister of India and the Interlocutor of the Indo-Naga Political negotiation and the Naga Political Groups (NPGs) on various occasions.

 

The Association said that it has been assured by the Government of India as well as the NPGs of forming an ‘Independent and Empowered Committee’ to settle the boundary issue between the two states.

 

As such, the UNTABA stated that the Government of Nagaland should initiate practical steps to persuade the Government of Assam to withdraw the Civil Suit first and foremost “so that the present intent of the Government of Nagaland” can be implemented. “Otherwise, there will be repercussions,” it added.

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