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Kurmi plea to Delhi, Dispur

Jorhat, Aug. 21: Mariani Congress MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi today demanded that the Union and state governments jointly move the Supreme Court for early solution to the vexed boundary issue.

Kurmi told The Telegraph that he would urge the governments to move the Supreme Court to deliver its judgment on the matter at the earliest. A case on the Assam-Nagaland boundary row is pending in the court since 1988.

The legislator, who visited the inter-state boundary at Uriamghat in Golaghat district of Assam, the site of the latest flare-up, a few days back, said the decades-old impasse had led to a “lot of bloodshed” and Assamese people living along the boundary are forced to live in constant fear as the state and the Centre have failed to protect them.

The official death toll in the Uriamghat border violence is 14 but unofficial reports say about 30 persons have been killed by alleged militants from the Nagaland side. Besides, at least four persons have been killed in related incidents.

Mariani, which falls under Titabor subdivision of Jorhat district and shares its boundary with Mokokchung district of Nagaland, faces boundary skirmishes from time to time. Such incidents were reported from Naginijan last year.

“A solution to the border issue is needed to maintain peace and tranquillity so that residents can lead a normal life without fear of attacks and harassment by goons from Nagaland who often demand money and abduct people if their demand is not met,” Kurmi said.

He said a number of commissions had conducted surveys and submitted their reports to the governments in the past four decades. Now that the matter is pending in the apex court, both the Centre and Dispur should make a plea to the court for early pronouncement on the matter. Once the Supreme Court gives its verdict, both sides should accept it and move forward.

The case is likely to be heard by the Supreme Court next month.

Kurmi demanded deployment of Assam police in the disputed area in Golaghat, where only the CRPF is posted at present, in view of the recent violence at Uriamghat.

The CRPF has been deployed by the Centre as a neutral force in the disputed area between Golaghat district of Assam and Wokha district of Nagaland since 1979, when a large number of Assamese people were killed by goons from Nagaland at Merapani in Golaghat.

“During my visit, I saw people in the DAB area living in fear because of lack of security. They are not at all satisfied with the role of the neutral force. So Assam police should be deployed in the area to restore the confidence of the people who have fled their homes and taken shelter in relief camps,” Kurmi said.

Chief minister Tarun Gogoi has also blamed the CRPF for failing to respond to the situation and take timely action in Uriamghat. He recently said Dispur has requested the Centre to allow Assam police to assist the CRPF by operating under its command so that there is prompt response to any kind of situation arising in the disputed area.

Kurmi, a strong supporter of dissident leader Himanta Biswa Sarma, demanded that the Centre and Dispur give Rs 10 lakh and Rs 5 lakh respectively to the next of kin of those killed in the boundary row. He also wants the state government to increase the compensation of Rs 50,000, announced for those whose houses have been torched, to Rs 2 lakh.