Aizawl: Nearly a month after two farm houses on the disputed land along the Mizoram–Assam border were torched by unidentified people, the border dispute between the two neighbouring northeastern states has cropped up again when both accused each other of encroaching on their respective territories.
Mizoram’s Kolasib superintendent of police (SP) Vanlalfaka Ralte said that over a hundred officials and policemen led by Assam’s Hailakandi deputy commissioner and SP entered the state’s territory in Kolasib district and camped there since Tuesday.
The area, locally known as Aitlang hnar (the source of river Aitlang) belonged to Mizoram and is about 5 km from Vairengte village in Kolasib district which borders Assam’s Hailakandi district, he said.
He said that residents of Vairengte are practising plantations in the area, which they claimed belonged to Mizoram from time immemorial.
He said a host of district officials and police personnel from Assam arrived and forcefully seized the area on Tuesday.
“It is pure aggression by the neighbouring state as the area belongs to Mizoram and the local farmers were forced to flee for fear of being attacked by armed personnel,” Ralte, who is currently camping at the site, said.
On learning the incident, district officials and policemen from Mizoram led by a sub-divisional officer rushed to the spot on Tuesday to take stock of the situation, he said.
Officials of both states held a discussion at the site on Tuesday but the Assam side refused to withdraw from the area, the SP alleged. He said that residents of Vairengte, who rushed to the site, were sent back home to prevent violence.
Kolasib deputy commissioner H Lalthlangliana rushed to the site on Wednesday to take stock of the situation.
Meanwhile, Assam officials claimed that residents of Mizoram have encroached around 10 km of the state’s land in Chuninullah, Aisonanglon villages under Dholchera-Phaisan area in Karimganj district.
The Mizoram residents constructed structures, planted betel nut trees and banana saplings in the area, they said.
Three Mizoram districts — Aizawl, Kolasib and Mamit — share about 164.6 km inter-state border with Assam’s Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi districts.
The border dispute between the two neighbouring states is a long-pending issue, which has been unresolved till date.
Several dialogues held since 1995 to resolve the border dispute yielded little result.
After a massive tussle in 2018, the border row resurfaced in August last year and in February this year, which were defused after a series of parleys and with the intervention of the Centre.