Center’s response on the Assam-Nagaland border row questionable

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By Oken Jeet Sandham

After frantic pleadings to the Center by two helpless chief ministers of Assam and Nagaland for its immediate intervention to the unfortunate border clashes that broke out on August 12, the Center’s lackluster response dashed hopes of people of the two states. The Center says it cannot intervene for resolving the issue, saying that the “Assam-Nagaland” border issue is pending in the Supreme Court.

I have few fundamental questions:-

Q. 1. What will be the role of the Center if Assam and Nagaland fail to contain their border clashes, killings, arson, etc.?

Q. 2. Will the Center just remain as a mute spectator on such highly sensitive and fragile border issues threatening the lives of thousands of innocent people on both sides, just because the issue is pending in Supreme Court?

Q. 3. At the same time, there is no time-frame that when the Supreme Court will deliver its judgment?

Q. 4. The most interesting part is: There is still no guarantee that any judgment to be passed by the Supreme Court on the Assam-Nagaland border case will end the border row? Because, Nagaland does not favor the Supreme Court judgment from day one. They only said they preferred “Out-of-Court” settlement.

The bottom-line:

The Center cannot remain a mute spectator when the lives of the innocent citizens are put at risk with no false of theirs. And the Center should immediately swing into action when the chief ministers of the respective states – Assam and Nagaland – frantically pleaded to for its immediate intervention to contain the issues. The two chief ministers were helpless and therefore sought the Center’s intervention to contain the border violence.

We have seen how Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi’s convoy was attacked on August 18 by protesters when he was leaving after visiting a relief camp at Uriamghat in Assam’s border district, Golaghat. He escaped unhurt and the attack forced him to cut his scheduled visit short.

I don’t see there is any logic for the Center to shy away from intervening just because the border issue is pending in the Supreme Court. Because the two chief ministers have not asked for settlement of the border issue between them but only pleaded to intervene in containing raging violence. Process for settlement of the border row should come afterwards. The first step is to contain the fragile and threatening situation before it spreads.

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