Assam’s border disputes with Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Mizoram are nowhere near solution and continue to remain as a standing indictment of the Centre&’s inability to solve these at the time of creation of the new states. Now a piquant situation has arisen along the Manipur-Nagaland border with Mao Nagas of Manipur and Nagas of Nagaland accusing each other of tresspassing into the Dzukow Valley.
The valley is easily approachable from Viswema, near Kohima, and Nagaland has already built a guest house there. The approach from the Manipur side is not that easy. Last year when Senapati deputy commissioner, Ms Lazaru Jachinta. was informed that some members from the Nagaland-based Southern Angami People&’s Organisation had allegedly encroached into the valley, she directed the nearby Tadubi sub-divisional officer to look into the matter.
Accordingly, the Mao Council joined the SDO and conducted an inspection to ascertain to what extent the encroachment had taken place, and reported back to the DC. The latter, in turn, referred the matter to the chief secretary. But, as usual, the state government slept over it until the Mao Council observed a bandh to protest against the government&’s lackadaisical attitude.
The bandh has since been withdrawn. Significantly, in a state where bandhs come dime a dozen, this particular one was said to be a success. Significantly, this was the first bandh organised by the Nagas of Manipur to safeguard the state&’s territorial integrity, and runs counter to the assertions by the NSCN(IM) leadership and Manipur-based United Naga Council that the state&’s four hill districts should be with Nagaland.
Now that a newly-formed group called the Committee for Kozuriiui and Dzukow Land Boundary Resolution has begun an indefinite blockade of the Imphal-Dimapur highway from the midnight of June 1, demanding delineation of the Dzukow valley border and deployment of state security forces in the area, the situation appears to be tense. And more so, with the Southern Angami Youth Organisation barring all persons belonging to the Mao tribe of Manipur from entering Nagaland. In a statement the Mao Council has sought to explain that “we are Nagas by blood and will remain so till our last breath”.
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