Kohima: Following the first meeting of the recently-formed select committee of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) on Nagaland-Assam border row on Tuesday, the state government has assigned the department of border affairs to frame modalities on how to amicably settle the border issue.

Speaking to a section of media after the meeting, adviser of border affairs and horticulture Mhathung Yanthan said the committee deliberated on the background of the border issue with Assam. “Department of border affairs is given the task to work on the modalities on how the issues can be settled amicably,” he said.

During the state Assembly session held last month, a select committee of the NLA was constituted to examine all aspects of the Assam-Nagaland border issue and submit its report within three months.

Yanthan said Tuesday’s meeting was an ice-breaking session and that more discussions will be held to prepare its ground and necessary reports. Consultations with the government of Assam and the Union ministry will also be made, he informed.

“Nagaland has been demanding on the settlement of issue outside the court—an amicable settlement and also to constitute a border commission. This has not come about. The matter is now sub-judice. But we are definitely trying to solve this problem outside the court,” Yanthan added.

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio informed that a decision has been made to increase its members and understand the issue. Informing that the geology and mining sector will also be involved, the CM said, “That area…a lot of oil operation is going on and we need to understand more on that.”

He added that the government has received some “good information” through a Parliament question raised by Member of Parliament Tokheho Yepthomi and that discussions were also made accordingly.   

Leader of NPF Legislature Party TR Zeliang said the select committee discussed forming local indigenous bodies in both Nagaland and Assam to sit across the table and, on the advice of the state government and intervention of the Centre, bring about an amicable settlement on the border issue.

Zeliang further informed that the one-sided interim agreements made between the two states to maintain cordial relationship will be cross-checked and revised by a neutral body.

With the friendly relations established with the present chief minister of Assam, he expressed hope that concrete decisions on the matter will be made by both the state governments.

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