Feuding Assam-Nagaland Border villagers show way to peacebuilding
Mokokchung, November 29
The much awaited peace negotiation between the people of Nokpu-Saring village in Mokokchung district and Naganijan Tea Estate in Jorhat district was carried out at Tsuremmen village, near Assam-Nagaland border adjacent to Naganijan Tea Estate.
Skirmishes in this border belt earlier in May and June this year, led to total road closure with allegation and counter allegation on both sides creating a volatile atmposhere in the area.
The administration and police of Assam and Nagaland including border magistrates who frequented the trouble spots to defuse tension found themselves at their wits end to bring about an honourable solution.
The will of the people of Naganijan and Nokpu-Saring desirous for permanent peace saw the third party (NGO) like the Border Peace Coordination Committee (Assam-Nagaland) being approached to take up negotiations. On receipt of written requests from both the parties to the committee, the BPCC(A-N) heard the aggrieved parties on different occasions and finally initiated a joint peace coordination involving Naganijan and Nokpu-Saring public at a neutral venue at Tsuremmen village today.
In today’s meeting both sides agreed to forgive the past incidences and vowed to live as good neighbors
1. They agreed to not to insist on the ownership of land in the border but use available land for short term production purpose which shall be agreed mutually and jointly by Nokpu-Saring village Council and the Chah Mazdoor Sangha of Naganijan Tea Estate and in case of any conflict on land use, the matter shall be referred to BPCC(A-N).
2. Owners of grazing animals of both sides shall ascertain strict vigilance on their domestic animals when they are let loose for grazing. Henceforth on the occasion of theft of animals, appropriate measures shall be taken by the mutually by the joint forum and the forum shall do the needful to identify the wrong doer/s as also spell out the course of action.
3. Both sides also condemned the past incidences occurring in the area leading to loss of life of innocent people. They assured co operation in the attempt of the states to bring those who instigated the violence to book.
4. The elders of both sides shall also attempt to maintain and spread goodwill and peace coordination to their younger generations so as to ensure neighbourly and brotherhood ties for peace and development in the border.
The meeting was chaired by BPCC(A-N) President Shri Bhawa Prasad Bora and attended by a large crowd from neighbouring villages of Assam and Nagaland besides full strength executive members from BPCC(A-N) from either sides. At the outset of the meeting , BPCC(A-N) Coordinator set guidelines to both the parties for a peaceful negotiation which all the members present consented to.
After the meeting, as per wishes of the people, an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was drafted and duly appended by 10 representatives each from both Naganijan and Nokpu-Saring Village Council and copies handed over to them by BPCC(A-N) president.
A goodwill luncheon was offered to all the members by the Tsuremmen village community after which the congregation went up to the Saring village welcome gate (Assiringia Duar) and declared the Naganijan-Saring village road opened from today on behalf of the united communities by Shri Rajat Dutta, Manager of Naganijan Tea Estate.