Mizoram, Assam CMs to address border dispute at crucial NEC plenary session

In a bid to address the longstanding border dispute between Mizoram and Assam, Chief Minister Lalduhoma of Mizoram is slated to meet with his Assam counterpart, Himanta Biswa Sarma, during the North Eastern Council (NEC) plenary session in Shillong on January 19. The high-stakes discussion is expected to be chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

The border disagreement, rooted in colonial demarcations dating back to 1875 and 1933, has been a source of tension between the two northeastern states. Mizoram claims a 509-square-mile area of the inner line reserved forest, citing the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR) 1873, while Assam contends that the Survey of India’s 1933 map defines its constitutional boundary.

Consequently, significant portions of the inner line reserved forest now lie within Assam’s jurisdiction, while, in accordance with the 1933 demarcation, a specific area is now situated on the Mizoram side. Officials have emphasised the absence of ground demarcation, contributing to the complexity of defining boundaries between the two states.

The dispute took a violent turn in July 2021 when police forces from both states clashed along the inter-state boundary, resulting in the tragic deaths of six policemen and a civilian from Assam. Over 60 individuals sustained injuries during the skirmish near Mizoram’s Vairengte village.

Since the violent incident, Mizoram and Assam have engaged in several rounds of talks, committing to maintaining peace along the boundary and resolving the dispute through dialogue.

Chief Minister Lalduhoma, who recently discussed the border dispute with Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a visit to Delhi, expressed the collective desire to prevent future disputes and violence. Lalduhoma also disclosed plans to establish a boundary committee involving all stakeholders to effectively address any issues related to the border with neighbouring states.

 

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