Indefinite economic blockade against Nagaland begins


Assam-based organisations want Kohima to withdraw police and stop issuing land deeds in encroached areas

More than a dozen organisations led by the Karbi Students’ Association (KSA) on Tuesday enforced an indefinite economic blockade against Nagaland to protest alleged land-grabbing along the inter-State border.

This is the second such blockade along Assam’s troubled borders with neighbouring northeastern States after an acrimonious one with Mizoram for a month ending November 9.

The blockade followed a discussion between the heads of two adjoining districts — Karbi Anglong in Assam and Dimapur in Nagaland — to assuage tempers and defuse tension along the border.

“While we have let private vehicles to move, commercial vehicles and goods-laden trucks will not be allowed into Nagaland until the State governments solve the crisis and the local authorities give it in writing that the Nagas will not take our land,” KSA advisor Laichan Engleng told The Hindu from Karbi Anglong district headquarters Diphu.

Criticising the Assam government and the Karbi Anglong Autonomous District Council for failing to stop “illegal occupation of Assam’s territory”, he said land-grabbing by the Nagas was part of the Greater Nagalim design of Nagaland-based extremists.

The KSA and associate organisations claimed Nagaland removed boundary-demarcating pillars to occupy large swathes of the Daldali Reserve Forest in Karbi Anglong district, allot land deed to the Nagas and set up a base for the Nagaland Armed Police.

Dimapur district’s Deputy Commissioner R. Soundararajan denied encroachment from Nagaland in Assam and said the blockade would not have an immediate impact as the State had adequate stock of essential items.

The heads of other Nagaland districts bordering Assam have issued an advisory to their people to avoid using roads to Assam during the blockade.

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