NTC seeks CM intervention on border issue
Dimapur, July 21 (EMN): Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) urged upon the chief minister to react appropriately on the issue and impress upon government of India to act on the points of agreement Nagas already had and invoke Article 3 and 4 of the Constitution of India and arbitrate the boundary of Nagaland and Assam on the basis of the Nagaland-Assam boundary demarcation notification issued vide No. 89 No 3386 P. dated Fort William December 24, 1875 and restore the long awaited ancestral, traditional and historical lands along with the transferred forests of the Nagas.
In a representation to the Nagaland chief minister, NTC has urged to retrieve the ancestral, traditional and historical lands and restore it to the Nagas so as to fulfil the long cherished dreams of the people of Nagaland. It stated that the core issue for which the Nagas, for once were united, was in demanding its return right from the first formal meeting with the Simon Commission in 1929. The Nagas put up a petition to the Simon Commission for return of the transferred forests back to the Naga Hills, a joint NTC’s statement issued by its president, Toniho Yepthomi, and the general secretary, Nribemo Ngullie, stated.
“It is an undeniable fact that the state of Nagaland was born as the 16th state of the Indian union on 1st December 1963 out of a political agreement known as “The Sixteen Point Agreement” of 1960, with a special provision of Art 371A of the Constitution of India for Nagaland. In the course of discussion, the question of creating a separate state for Naga areas emerged and under Point 12 of the memorandum, the Naga delegation demanded the return to Nagaland all the reserved forests transferred from Naga Hills to Assam during the British regime in line with a petition by the Nagas to the Simon Commission for “return of the transferred forests back to the Naga Hills” in 1929, and as per Agreed Point-6 (i) of the Nine Point Agreement of 1947,” the statement read.
It stated that during the process of formulation of the statehood of Nagaland, the representative of the government of India pointed out to the Naga delegation on behalf of the government of India that the boundary of the new state have to be stated in the First Schedule of the Constitution if it was to come into being as a state. Accordingly, under Regulation 6 of 1957 and Nagaland Act of 1962, the 3 districts of Kohima, Mokokchung and Tuensang were notified in the scheduled would form part of the State of Nagaland but without properly defining boundary, inspite of the Nagas having their own proper traditional boundary with Assam, the statement added.
It added that Assam’s claim of 1925 inner line as the boundary between Nagaland and Assam was never meant to be a land boundary between the two states. According to NTC, the inner line was constituted by the British long before Indian Independence and placed in their own convenience for administrative purposes so as to preserve and protect the unique life of the Nagas from the exploitation from various sophistications of the advanced societies and undesirable persons from outside.
In the light of the above, NTC firmly rejected the 1925 inner line to be the boundary demarcation between Nagaland and Assam as it has no historical or traditional basis.
As Assam government frequently sends out strong armed police forces to border areas and treat the Nagas as foreigners and annexed their land, it stated that Nagas have lost maximum ancestral, traditional and historical land to Assam.
It, therefore, stated that the first boundary of the then Naga Hills District notified in 1867 and rectified in 1875 vide No. 89 No 3386 P. dated Fort William, December 24,1875 is ultimately the state boundaries of Nagaland and Assam.