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Mizoram CM Zoramthanga

Aizawl: Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga met his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma to hold another round of talks on the long-pending Assam-Mizoram border issue in the national capital on Wednesday.

The meeting was a follow-up of the decision made by the two leaders during their first meeting in New Delhi in November last year. 

“During the talk held at Assam house in the national capital, the chief ministers of the two states have widely discussed the border issue,” the statement issued by the state information and public relations department said. 

“Both leaders expressed happiness about the border talks, which are in progress at the minister and official levels between the two states. They believed that the border talks which were started by ministers and officials of the two states are progressing smoothly,” the statement said. 

During the closed-door meeting, Zoramthanga and Sarma also agreed that both the states would play their own role and make massive efforts to curb the smuggling of dried areca nuts from Myanmar, the statement said.

They also agreed to take measures to ensure that Mizoram grown fresh (green) area nuts are not seized in the neighbouring state so that they reach their final destinations.

Zoramthanga also said that they were happy for the progress seen in the border talks between the two states.

“I had a meeting with the Assam Chief Minister. We have discussed the border dispute. We are happy for the progress we have seen in the border talks between the two states,” Zoramthanga said in a voice message in his official Instagram handle. 

He said that he urged Sarma not to intercept or seize Mizoram harvested fresh areca nuts being transported to Assam and other states to ensure that the consignment reaches its final destination.

“Sarma assured me that he would make efforts and instruct law enforcement agencies not to intercept and seize the consignments of those fresh or green areca nuts harvested in Mizoram transported from the state,” Zoramthanga said. 

Highly placed sources said that areca nut growers in Mizoram are facing inconvenience as a number of consignments of Mizoram-grown fresh areca nuts were seized by law enforcement agencies in Assam amid a crackdown launched by the state against the smuggling of Burmese dried areca nuts. 

Earlier, leaders of the areca nut growers society in Mizoram had met Sarma and sought his help.

Mizoram shares a 164.6 km long boundary with Assam. 

The border dispute between the two northeastern states, which mostly stemmed from two colonial demarcations, is a long pending issue that remains unresolved now. 

In July last year, a violent clash took place at the disputed area near the first border village Vairengte when forces of the two states exchanged fire leading to the death of seven people, including six policemen from Assam. 

Meanwhile, officials said that the date for the third round of minister-level meetings to be held at Guwahati in October is yet to be fixed. 

The Mizoram government has already approved an ‘Approach paper’ to be tabled at the proposed meeting as the state’s stand on its boundary, they said. 

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