Nagaland has demanded Assam Police to immediately release James Kikon

In a strongly-worded letter issued on Thursday, the Border Magistrate from Nagaland’s Changpang district has accused Assam Police personnel of illegally trespassing into Nagaland to arrest a man from Yimpang village on Wednesday.

In a letter issued to the Circle Officer-cum-Border Magistrate of Titabar of Jorhat district in Assam on Thursday, Dr Riku Khutso, the Extra Assistant Commissioner-cum-Border Magistrate of ‘E’ Sector Changpang in Nagaland, said the Assam Police illegally trespassed into Nagaland and arrested James Kikon of Yimpang Village, a resident of Baghty town.

According to the letter, Kikon, who had come to work at his uncle’s farm on that day, was arrested over accusations of bike lifting, “as an allegedly stolen bike was found parked near the farm.”

“It may be stated that no prior information was given to Changpang Police outpost or Bhandari Police Station. The accused is innocent and bears no criminal record. Since his arrest, the Assam Police has kept him under illegal custody at Borolla Police station under false allegations,” the letter states.

Demanding immediate release of Kikon, Khutso has threatened to take “legal assistance from the High Court as illegal trespass of jurisdiction by Assam Police has been frequent.”

“Independent investigation in collaboration with Bhandari police may be done thereafter the release should there be any allegations,” the letter further states.

BJP spokesperson and MLA from 40 Bhandari Constituency in Wokha District, Mmhonlumo Kikon said: “I request the Honourable CM of Assam to kindly intervene in this case of illegal arrest of an innocent village by Assam Police. Without verifying with their counterparts in Nagaland, such illegal arrest will only lead to misunderstandings. Provocations of this nature must be adequately controlled.”

An agreement between chief ministers of Nagaland and Assam was signed in January, 1979, with the aim of “restoring a sense of confidence in the minds of both the Nagas and non-Nagas and restoring the status quo as on January 2, 1979.” According to the said agreement, “searches and arrests in Naga habitation would be made in the presence of Magistrates and civil police officials of both the states.”

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