Kohima: Additional forces have been deployed by the state police along the Nagaland-Assam border at Vikuto village as situation along the border escalated on Thursday after reports of firing and gunshots.

The situation became tense along the border after Congress MLA from Assam’s Mariani constituency Rupjyoti Kurmi’s visit to the area on Thursday.

A top official from the Nagaland police told EastMojo that the Assam police and its forest officials, on May 25, came to the site without any intimation and destroyed around 500 Areca nut trees along with some standing bamboo structures, claiming that the area fell under the disputed area belt and that no developmental activities should take place at the site.

“The villagers were highly agitated because of the unilateral action made by the Assam police and the forest department in destroying the Areca plantation who also told these people to go away,” the police official said on anonymity.

The situation turned hot on Thursday when the Assam legislator, along with 60-70 people, visited the Vikuto village area, provoking the public to damage more structures at the site.

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The official said that the Assam police resorted to fire first by firing five rounds in the air and the villagers in return fired two rounds from Muzzle loading guns.

“Restricted calibers were recovered from the place of occurrence. Such weapons are handled by the police and para military forces,” the official said. 

“If it is a disputed area, no unilateral decision or action can be taken by either side. If developments are taking place at the disputed areas, then the counter parts have to be equally apprised and a joint exercise should be carried out,” the police source said.

The official said that the Mokokchung district police and the Jorhat police are in touch to ensure that the situation does not escalate and to maintain peaceful coexistence. 

While IRB personnel from Nagaland have been deployed at the conflict area, a team of the Assam Police is also reportedly stationed at New Sonowal village to stop further movements towards Nagaland. The situation is said to be under control.

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