The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Students veto 'Nagalim' plan
- Neso seeks NSCN help in border row

Guwahati, Jan. 12: The North East Students' Organisation (Neso) has 'politely' told the NSCN (I-M) leadership that Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh were opposed to any alteration of their boundaries to create the proposed Nagalim or Greater Nagaland comprising Naga-inhabited areas of these states.

Neso chairman Samujjal Bhattacharyya, who led a delegation to the NSCN (I-M) headquarters, Camp Hebron, near Dimapur yesterday, said the objection of the three states was conveyed to the outfit's president Isak Chishi Swu and general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah.

The two militant leaders had reportedly told the group that other states in the region 'should understand the historical facts of the Nagas'.

Bhattacharyya told the media here today that the meeting with the militant leaders was very friendly. 'During our interaction, the NSCN (I-M) leadership did not use the term Nagalim. But they said that the outfit was seeking territorial integration of all Naga-inhabited states.'

He said the NSCN (I-M) leadership was concerned over the 'burning problems' of the states in the region, including illegal influx from across the international border.

Because of prior engagements representatives from the All Manipur Students Union and the Mizoram Students Union could not accompany the delegation to the meeting, which was part of the outfit's exercise of holding consultations with people of the neighbouring states, the Neso chairman said.

Making a case for peace, unity and confidence among all the northeastern states, the Neso delegation sought the help of Swu and Muivah to defuse the border attrition between Assam and Nagaland.

The apex students' organisations of Nagaland and Assam held a consultative meeting in Dimapur yesterday to discuss the border problem between the two states.

The All Assam Students' Union (AASU) and the Naga Students' Federation (NSF) reaffirmed their commitment to co-operate to chalk out a solution to the problem. They urged both the Centre and state government to take corrective measures to resolve the crisis.

The two student organisations were of the view that the issues could be resolved through dialogue because both states have been living together as 'good neighbours since time immemorial'.

The AASU and the NSF appealed to the people residing in the border areas to exercise restraint to avoid deterioration of the situation.

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