Assam govt alleges Arunachal violating status quo

Guwahati, Jan 7 : The Assam government today stood firm on evicting any encroachment by neighbouring states and appealed them to maintain status quo along the disputed land.

''The Assam government has maintained status quo along the disputed areas, with a Border Dispute Commission disposing the claims and counter-claims. We urge the neighbouring states also to do so but if they try to encroach, our government won't lie low,'' state Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain informed the Assembly.

He was replying, on behalf of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, to a Zero Hour notice moved by former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta on Arunachal Pradesh setting up a check gate inside Assam land under Bihpuria revenue circle in North Lakhimpur district.

The district administration had evicted the check gate on December 29, the minister informed, adding the Lakhimpur administration had repeatedly asked its counterpart in Papumpare district to stop the construction of the new check gate about 600 metres inside Assam and had also drawn the attention of the Centre.

''It was only after Papumpare administration did not heed our requests that our officials evacuated the check gate,'' Mr Hussain said.

On the reported 'quit notice' to Assamese people in Arunachal Pradesh in the aftermath of the eviction drive, he said Assam government will take all necessary steps to ensure safety of its people.

He added that additional forces could also be deployed depending on the need.

To a separate Call Attention Motion by Independent Legislator Pranab Kalita on the border row with Nagaland, Mr Hussain said the disputes were being settled by a Border Dispute Settlement Commission and till further notification, both the states would be maintaining status quo.