In a significant development, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio today said Assam and Nagaland are ready for out-of-court settlement of their decades old state border dispute. Both the states have agreed to share royalty from petroleum from the disputed area. Mr Rio met with his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma in Guwahati today on Sunday.
The Assam government had filed a case in the Supreme Court in 1988 for resolving the border dispute.
Mr Rio said a delegation from Assam and Nagaland will meet Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi in early February and discuss the way forward.
After Mr Rio, Nagaland Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton and Naga People’s Front, or NPF, legislature party leader TR Zeilang met with Mr Sarma on Sunday.
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu also met with Mr Sarma in Guwahati today.
The Nagaland assembly’s select committee to examine the border issue held a meeting.
“We had gone to Guwahati and had fruitful discussions on the border issue with Sarma. Nagaland and Assam had jointly taken up the matter with Home Minister Amit Shah on December 23, 2020,” Mr Rio told reporters in Kohima.
“Both the state governments are in favour of an out-of-court settlement, and maybe our teams will meet Shah in the first part of February to discuss and formulate how to go about it. The disputed sites are divided into four sectors,” Mr Rio.
“Issue of royalty sharing along the disputed areas was also discussed and it is taking shape. Earlier team from both the states along with the Chief Secretary met Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and discussed sharing of royalty of petroleum and natural gas along the disputed sites. If we resolve the border dispute and the issue of royalty, it will be good for both sides as we are going to remain neighbours,” Mr Rio said.
The CRPF have been stationed along the contentious area on the Assam-Nagaland border since 1971. The centre set up the KVK Sundaram Commission to settle the border dispute. The Sundaram Commission prepared a report but Nagaland did not accept the recommendations.