Naga supra state body: now Assam raises objection

Guwahati, Nov 18 (PTI) After Manipur, it is the turn of the Assam government to raise objection to the Centre's reported suggestion of granting a 'supra state body' status to the Nagas settled across the Northeastern region. "The Assam government will take no steps which will affect the state's geographical boundary," government spokesman and minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma told reporters here today. "Some of Assam's areas were under the occupation of Nagaland," he said. The border dispute between Assam and Nagaland has been continuing for decades. "There are no Naga areas in Assam and only some Zeme Nagas in the North Cachhar Hills district. The few Nagas who stay in other parts of the state are 'encroachers' and not inhabitants", the spokesman said. Zeme Naga community is one of the three sub-groups of Zeliangrong tribe. The government would not take any step that might affect the hopes and aspirations of the people of Assam, Sarma said. Earlier, Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh had wrote to the Centre seeking clarification on media reports that the government was considering granting a 'supra state body' status to Nagas living in Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh to enable them preserve their culture, identity and customary laws under one body.