By Imna Longchar
Dimapur ( Nagaland), May 28 : The United Naga Tribes Association on Border Areas (UNTABA) on Friday has decried the news of purported skirmishes in the border between Assam and Nagaland as carried by many news agencies of Assam and others through electronic and print media including visual and social media on May 28 was far from what had actually happened.
In a press statement issued jointly by UNTABA Chairman, Hukavi T Yeputhomi, and general secretary, Imsumongba Pongen, they alleged that the incident was actually the “handiwork” of MLA Mariani A/C, Rupjyoti Kurmi, who “bashfully” crossed the boundary by more than 3 kms and entered the vicinity of Vikuto Village inside Nagaland.
They alleged that the MLA forcefully stopped the villagers from continuing their normal cultivation works and destroyed their Areca nut and other crops, while also threatening and abusing the villagers.
When the villagers objected to this high-handed behaviour, the armed Assam Police personnel who were brought by the MLA besides his PSO started shooting while they were leaving. The villagers also blank fired two shots from a muzzle-loading gun well after the entourage left.
“Keeping this incident in mind, this is not the first time Rupjyoti Kurmi has deliberately provoked a situation like this in the border areas. He is a cheap attention seeking MLA who has a habit of stirring-up people’s emotions so as to create animosity between the people living peacefully in the border area of the two states,” the statement read.
Stating the fact that the boundary issue between the two states is still lying pending in the Supreme Court of India makes the issue subjudiced where the likes of MLA Kurmi have no business to involve themselves in except to further his vested personal interests, the two UNTABA also said to prevent any untoward incidents in the border areas, there are neutral forces (CRPF) to maintain peace and tranquility based on the ‘Interim Agreement’ of 1979 between the two states.
Therefore, nobody has the right or power to dictate and instigate and create skirmishes in the border areas.
MLA Kurmi has been quoted as saying, “As soon as they saw us, they started firing. I would’ve become a martyr today had my luck not favoured me! The government must protect Assam land.” Such utterances are unbecoming of a public leader. He may regret of having said such exaggerated and dramatic assertions in future, they further stated.
They underscored that the news agencies of print, electronic and visual media based in Assam need to immediately stop the biased, fictitious and vested interest news reporting and issue necessary corrigendum otherwise it would invite legal courses of action.
UNTABA has also demanded immediate investigation on the high-handed actions of MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi andaffixed appropriate responsibility so as to prevent such unwarranted incidents.
Further, the Government of Nagaland must immediately initiate appropriate steps to review the ‘Interim Agreement’ of 1979 between the two states on the boundary issue, they said.