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Nagas flee villages

Jorhat, Aug. 14: Fear knows no boundaries.

More than 50 families under Bhandari subdivision of Wokha district in Nagaland, bordering Golaghat district in Assam, have fled their homes fearing attacks from across the border. In the wake of the latest flare-up, nearly 6,000 people on the Assam side have fled to safer environs.

These families are taking shelter at community centres in Ralan, about 25km away from the border, and are refusing to return home just yet.

Additional deputy commissioner of Bhandari subdivision Oren Lotha told The Telegraph over phone today that the government had set up relief camps in the community centres for the residents of Yanlum and Tcucanphen villages. They fled yesterday fearing attacks from the other side of the border mainly inhabited by Adivasis.

“These two villages are located in areas which have a large number of Adivasi population on the other side of the border and they are afraid that they may be attacked after the latest round of violence broke out,” the ADC said.

He said situation in the border areas was normal today and there were no reports of any untoward incident. “Section 144 has been clamped along the border from today and we have deployed additional security forces to prevent recurrence of such incidents. Nagaland police personnel, along with the CRPF, conducted joint operations in the area today,” he said.

The ADC said violence started in the area after more than 100 Adivasi villagers from Assam gheraoed Ronsu village inside Nagaland territory and set ablaze two houses a few days back. The particular village is adjacent to Chetia Gaon on the Assam side of the border, where two villagers died when miscreants from Nagaland allegedly fired upon them.

He said villagers from Ronsu have not fled since it has a large population of Nagas whereas Yanlum and Tcucanphen are sparsely populated. “They are afraid they could be overrun,” the ADC said.

“The root of the problem is the Adivasi National Liberation Army (ANLA), which is frequently disturbing the genuine inhabitants of the area by burning their houses and properties,” an official said.

Regarding the allegation that two boys from Assam were abducted by villagers from Nagaland, the ADC said an inquiry was on and operations have been carried out jointly by the CRPF and Nagaland police in the disturbed areas belt to locate them.