The North East Students’ Organisation (NESO), a conglomeration of regional students’ groups, has urged for the deadly clash between security forces of Assam and Mizoram on Monday not to be turned into a communal issue.
In a press release today, NESO expressed its “anguish and disbelief at the recent border conflicts along the Assam-Mizoram boundary, which is condemnable and which has taken a huge toll in human lives, injuries to scores of people and destruction of people’s property.”
The organisation noted that this is not the first time that a border dispute has erupted into violence between North East states and also not the first to have involved the loss of life; in 2010 many lives were lost from the Meghalaya side in a spell of violence concerning the dispute with Assam.
NESO has previously appealed on several occasions to the governments of the North East states to resolve the complex boundary issues in order to “maintain peace and harmony among the indigenous communities of the North East.” Recently it also submitted a memorandum on the matter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
“NESO would also like to call upon all the indigenous peoples that this issue is not an ethnic issue but of border dispute in which the respective State Governments are duty bound to solve. If a solution is arrived whereby borders will be properly demarcated with a unanimous settlement, then peace will usher between different states and the people residing along the borders can live without fear and in harmony amongst themselves,” the release, signed by NESO chairman Samuel B Jyrwa and secretary general Sinam Prakash Singh, said.
NESO comprises the Khasi Students’ Union, All Assam Students’ Union, Naga Students’ Federation, Mizo Zirlai Pawl, Twipra Students’ Federation, All Manipur Students’ Union, Garo Students’ Union and All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union.