| Tight vigil |
Jorhat, Sept. 9: Assam home commissioner Jishnu Baruah today embarked on a three-day tour to the frontier areas.
The visit is part of Dispur’s move to review the “ground situation” along the Assam-Nagaland boundary following the recent border flare-up between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh in the Charaipung area of Sivasagar district.
Official sources said Baruah started his tour today by visiting the Assam-Nagaland border areas in Sivasagar district. They said Baruah, who would be visiting the inter-state boundary areas in Jorhat and Golaghat districts in the next two days, had come to assess the ground situation vis-à-vis progress of various infrastructure development along the border and alleged encroachment by people from Nagaland.
Sivasagar deputy commissioner N.M. Hussain, who accompanied the home commissioner, said over phone that Baruah was on a visit to have a first-hand knowledge of the situation and gauge the progress of various infrastructure development works along the border areas.
Hussain said Baruah took stock of the progress of construction and repair of roads along the border and those used for patrol by Assam police.
He also took stock of the water supply schemes set up under funds from the border areas development department. Hussain said Baruah visited a number of border outposts, including Mugapara and Deopani BoPs where solar lighting worth Rs 15 lakh had been installed recently.
Baruah also visited Haticamp, a forest department camp under Abhayapur reserve forest near the Tawkak river, off Sonari town besides the Kherabari forest camp located nearby.
The home commissioner then visited Geleki reserve forest, which has a total area of 5,900 hectares. According to forest department sources, there were 20 Naga villages set up after 1953 on about 4,000 hectares of forest area.
Sources said the “encroached area” was claimed by Nagaland as its territory, but following the 1977 agreement between Assam and Nagaland, both sides were supposed to maintain status quo along the boundary areas.
Sivasagar shares over 100km of boundary with Nagaland and has a history of skirmishes following border disputes since the hill state was carved out of Assam in 1963.
In a related development, former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta said be it Charaipung or Langpi, the Tarun Gogoi-led government had failed to protect the state’s border.