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Mizoram wishes to resume border talks with Assam

The border dispute between Mizoram and Assam had taken an ugly turn in July 2021 when police forces of the two states exchanged fire at the inter-state boundary, leading to the death of six policemen and a civilian from Assam.

Hritika Mitra Edited By: Hritika Mitra @MitraHritika Aizawl Published on: January 28, 2024 20:20 IST
Mizoram CM Lalduhoma
Image Source : FILE Mizoram CM Lalduhoma

A Mizoram minister expressed the wish to resume talks of the border dispute with Assam to resolve the issue, an official said on Thursday. A meeting of the newly-reconstituted boundary committee, chaired by Home Minister K Sapdanga, deliberated on the issue during the day, and expressed its desire that the border talks with Assam, which was suspended due to the assembly polls in November, be resumed, he said.

It was also decided in the meeting to resolve the border dispute and "establish peace" with Assam, he said. Sapdanga told the meeting that the Lalduhoma government gives priority to the protection of the state boundary and the restoration of peace among the people, especially those living in the border areas.

He said efforts should be made to find ways, which is acceptable to both states, to resolve the border dispute. He also lauded the previous MNF government for its steps towards finding a solution to the border dispute with Assam.

The meeting was attended by Environment and Forest Minister Lalthansanga, who is the vice chairman of the committee, Chief Secretary Renu Sharma, DGP Anil Shukla, representatives of all political parties and NGOs, among others. Three Mizoram districts -- Aizawl, Kolasib and Mamit -- share a 164.6-km-long border with Assam's Cachar, Karmganj and Hailankandi districts.

The border dispute between the two Northeastern states mainly stems from two colonial demarcations. Mizoram claims that a 509 sq mile area of the inner line reserved forest, notified in 1875 under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR), falls within its territory, while Assam regards the map prepared by the Survey of India in 1933 as its constitutional boundary.

Vast areas within the inner line reserved forest are now in Assam. Similarly, a certain extent of the area, as per the 1933 demarcation, is now on the Mizoram side. More than 60 people were also injured in a violent clash that broke out in 2021 taking place in the disputed area near Mizoram's Vairengte village. The two states have held several rounds of talks, including three ministerial-level meetings, and agreed to maintain peace along the boundary and resolve the dispute through dialogue.

(With inputs from PTI)

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