According to Mizoram Home Minister Lalchamliana, the Mizoram state government has made several efforts to devise certain strategies to resolve the ongoing border dispute with their neighbouring state of Assam.
Ongoing research and compilation of documents regarding border issue
According to the Home Minister, back in 2018, the Mizoram government had constituted a core committee whose sole purpose was to study and assess the state boundaries. Later in 2019, the core committee was reconstituted with Chief Secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaunog as the chairman.
To a query from Congress Legislature Party Leader Zodintluanga Ralte, Lalchamliana replies that the aforementioned core committee is doing research and critical analysis at the present on the state border by collecting state topography sheets and documents which are related to the state boundary with Assam.
He further adds that the Mizoram government has already appointed a nodal officer regarding the border issue and has also submitted a report to the Centre in accordance with the instructions given by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs instruction.
According to Lalchamliana, the Mizoram government has also constituted a team of its own to compile important documents which are in regards to support their state’s stance on the long-ongoing border issue. They will tabulate the researched data before the state visit from Manohar Parrikar Institute of Defence Studies.
Furthermore, he adds that a ‘boundary committee’ which involves all the political parties and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), headed by Deputy Chief Minister Tawnluia has been recently formed to deal with the border issue.
Mizoram Home Minister calls out Assam
On September 8, Wednesday, Mizoram Home Minister made his claims in the assembly that Assam has already encroached and is occupying vast areas of land at present which belongs to at least 20 farmers from the Kolasib district.
He says that the Assam occupied land areas are located in the Aitlang area, bordering Assam’s Hailakandi district, and Buarchep and Phainuam areas on the border with Assam’s Cachar district.
He quotes a saying by assembly officials, “There is no report of any encroachment from the neighbouring state at Thinghlun in western Mizoram’s Mamit district, which borders Assam’s Karimganj district.”
Mizoram has 3 districts – Aizawl, Kolasib and Mamit which share a 164.6 km inter-state border with Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts in Assam.
Escalation of tension
Tensions between the two states of Assam and Mizoram go way back to the demarcation of the border, started as far back as 1994 but the issue has flared up more frequently over the last 2 years.
However, the most violent standoff was reported on July 26, where six Assam policemen had been killed in a disputed area along the border of Cachar (Assam) and Kolasib (Mizoram) districts.
In this violent exchange, police forces of both Assam and Mizoram had at least 6 police personnel and an Assamese civilian dead, with more than 60 people injured.
After these incidents, on August 5, representatives from both states sat in Aizawl to solve the issue. They came to a joint statement saying that they will maintain peace along the border
These 2 states share a 164.6 km border. Both these states have made their own official interpretations regarding the issues with their territorial boundary lines.
Moreover, Mizoram claims that its border lies along the border drawn up in 1875 to protect its indigenous people from outside or foreign influences. Meanwhile, Assam goes by the district demarcation which was done in 1933.