The Telegraph
Saturday , August 23 , 2014
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Efforts to soothe frayed nerves along border

NGO launches peace drive

Jorhat, Aug. 22: The Border Peace Co-ordination Committee (Assam-Nagaland), an NGO, has launched a sensitisation drive in Sector E along the disputed Assam-Nagaland border in a bid to check spread of violence and instil peace among the people residing along the border.

The initiative, which began on Tuesday, was taken by the district administrations of the Jorhat and Sivasagar in Assam and neighbouring Mokokchung and Longleng districts in Nagaland.

Assam and Nagaland share more than 450km boundary of which 225km falls in Jorhat and Sivasagar districts of Assam and 125km in Golaghat district. While the disputed Sectors A, B, C, D are in Golaghat district, E and F sectors fall in Jorhat and Sivasagar districts.

The president of the group, B.C. Bora, said the sensitisation drive was held in specific areas along the entire border where the people were asked not to indulge in any kind of violence and maintain peace.

“We also visited the Naginijan area which witnessed a series of violence last year. We met prominent citizens on both sides of the border and appealed to them to prevail upon the villagers to instil peace and not to indulge in any form of violence,” Bora said.

The committee president said similar drives would also be held in the Geleky area of Sivasagar district, which shares a boundary with Nagaland’s Mokokchung and Longleng districts.

Bora said the committee had received requests from both Nagaland and Assam administrations to carry out sensitisation drives along the border areas to stop violence from spreading.

The group’s executive committee comprises about 22 members from both Assam and Nagaland and has been working for several years now to cement ties between the people residing along the border of both the states. It has been taking the initiative to hold cultural exchange programmes and sports events among the villagers of both the states so that peace and harmony prevail in the border areas.

The committee functions mainly in Jorhat and Sivasagar districts.

A couple of years back, a large contingent of youth leaders, social workers and senior government officials from Jorhat and Sivasagar districts of Assam, led by Upper Assam commissioner S.I. Hussain, took part in the M-festival in Mokokchung district.

Bora said the committee has been thinking of helping people of Wokha district in Nagaland and Golaghat district in Assam to form such a committee, which would help understand each other in a better way.

“Such committees play a big role in building friendship and cementing ties between the people of the two states,” he said.

A resolution was also taken in the meeting held yesterday at Dispur between Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi and his Nagaland counterpart T.R. Zeliang that border peace committees would be formed among people residing along the border.