Naga border villages arming against intrusion

Dimapur, Jan 12 (MExN): Villages under Wokha district sharing borders with Assam state are reported to be arming and preparing for ‘attacks’ from adjoining Assam villagers since the past few days. According to reports, the powerful All Assam Students Union (AASU) volunteers in connivance with the CRPF and Assam villagers, has scheduled a march into Governors’ Camp Liphiyan village, under Wokha administration, as a show of ‘power’ and claims over the land. (At the time of filing of this report) a major intrusion or possibly even an armed attack from Assam villagers is expected within the next few days There are about seven villages along Governors’ Camp range. 

The influential Lotha Students Union (LSU) with the blessings of the Naga Students’ Federation and the All Nagaland College Students’ Union, presently camping at Governors’ Camp with score student activists are also reported to have set up a ‘base camp office’ in the event of an attack from the Assam side. Villagers particularly of Liphiyan village are reported to be arming with whatever weapons are available to them including muskets, Daos (machetes) and spears anticipating a major intrusion. The situation is reported to be extremely tense with bigger village outposts like Liphiyan, Yanpha, Ralan Old and Chandalashung setting up bunkers in anticipation of an intrusion. 

According to LSU President Nzanthung K Yanthan, the situation was triggered when on December 17 last, the AASU staged a ‘flag’ procession in Liphayan proclaiming the land to be Assam’s. (Intrusions have been going on for decades but the AASU has stepped up ever since a water pump “for Assam farmers” was built, it was informed).  Later on, the AASU scheduled another such intrusion around this weeks’ time. The LSU chief, appealing for support and intervention of concerned authorities, said a major intrusion is expected within the next few days “since they (Assam villagers/AASU) failed to turn up today”.  To add to the woes of the villagers, the ‘F’ Coy of the 7th NAP at Liphiyan has yet to respond with its Commandant playing truant for the last few months.

In relation to the current situation, sources informed that villagers gathered at the NAP post demanding security and intervention. However, the NAP refused to comply and this led to a standoff between the personnel and the villagers around 12 noon. 

Sources said that Governors’ Camp Liphiyan continues to reel under intrusion from the Assam side especially after a water pump was sanctioned to be built inside the village. The pump was envisaged to provide irrigation and supply facilities to Assam farmers of adjoining Assam villages. The pump is said to be on the verge of completion. It was informed that on October 13 last, a Border Magistrate s’ meeting was held where the decision to build an irrigation pump for Assam villages was taken. On this basis the land is being claimed even more by ASSU as belonging to Assam.