Know the burning issue of Naga Hills
New Delhi: The border dispute between Assam and Nagaland is more than eight decades old. It is basically a case for the return of forest land (Naga Hills) and other areas, the ownership of which lies with the Nagaland but included in Assam by the then British Government of India.
The Naga Hills, created in 1866, was part of undivided Assam till 1957. The controversy over the disputed land started in 1963, soon after the Nagaland attained statehood.
Assam developed its stand saying every state has a constitutional border and when Nagaland was made formed, both Assam and Nagaland gained a constitutional border.
On the contrary, Nagaland says that the disputed land belonged to Naga Hills and was transferred to Assam only for administrative conveniences by the Britishers and thus be restored.
Both the states tried to resolve the issue by holding negotiations but unfortunately it failed. Later, third party intervention was sought to look into the matter.
In 2005, the Supreme Court of India had directed the Central government to constitute a boundary commission to settle various inter-state boundary problems in the North East.
Earlier, the government had constituted two commissions -- the Sundaram Commission in 1971 and the Shastri Commission in 1985 -- to settle the matter. But the commissions failed to resolve the issue.
As a result, Nagaland, Assam and Meghalaya decided to oppose third party intervention and co-operate with each other to address their respective border disputes.
Both the states share a total of 512.1 kms of border along Jorhat, Sivsagar, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao districts of Assam.