Mizoram: Assam and Mizoram govts hopeful to resolve border disputes
Assam and Mizoram delegation holding border talks

Aizawl: Mizoram and Assam governments are hopeful of amicably resolving decades-old border disputes between the two neighbouring northeastern states that saw several flare-ups in recent years.  

High-level delegations of both states on Tuesday held talks in Aizawl, discussing the vexed border issue under a cordial atmosphere.

While the Mizoram delegation was headed by Home Minister Lalchamliana, the Assam team was led by Border Protection and Development minister Atul Bora.

Both delegations agreed to hold the next round of talks in Guwahati in October.

Speaking to reporters after the talks, Bora said both state governments are keen on resolving the decades-old border dispute.

He said that both the chief ministers of the two states are sincere and taking positive roles to settle the vexed border dispute. 

“We have already had some fruitful discussions with Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya. We are also 100 per cent confident that we will find a solution to the vexed border dispute with Mizoram,” Bora told a news conference. 

He said that under the initiative of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, the Assam government has taken bold and positive steps for settling the border disputes conclusively.

Both the delegations also signed a joint statement re-affirming the joint statement signed during the border talks held on August 5 last year in the aftermath of the violent clash in July that year. 

The joint statement said that both the states agreed to promote and maintain peace and to prevent any untoward incident along the borders.

Deputy Commissioners of the bordering districts of both states will meet at least once in two months, it said. 

Both sides also agreed that economic activities, including cultivation and farming, which have been practised by the people on either side of the borders should not be disturbed but allowed to continue regardless of the administrative control presently exercised by either state at such locations subject to forest regulations and after informing the Deputy Commissioners concerned.

The next meeting between the high-level delegations of the two states will be held at Guwahati in October, where issues and claims will be deliberated in detail, the joint statement said. 

Bora said that the modalities of the next round of talks will be drafted later.

He said that they also expected to have chief ministerial-level talks very soon.

Bora said that the modalities used with Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya could not be used in the case of Mizoram as the boundary dispute between Assam and Mizoram is completely different from that of the border dispute between Assam and Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.

Asked, the Assam minister said that the formation of a joint inspection team to conduct ground verification or inspection of the border will be discussed in the next meeting. 

Meanwhile, Lalchamliana said that a border dispute can’t be resolved overnight and it will take time to have a lasting solution to the border dispute between the two states. 

He, however, said that both governments are keen on resolving the long-standing border dispute. 

The Mizoram home minister also said that the state government has a stand on its boundary. 

However, the state will have claims, which will be discussed in the meeting of the state boundary commission under the chairmanship of deputy chief minister Tawnluia, to be tabled in the next round of meeting in Guwahati, he said. 

Three Mizoram’s districts- Aizawl, Kolasib and Mamit- share a 164.6 km long boundary with Assam’s Hailakandi, Karimganj and Cachar districts. 

The border dispute between the two states is a long-standing issue, which stemmed from two colonial demarcations- 1875 and 1933.

However, there are no proper ground demarcations between the two neighbouring states especially after Mizoram was carved out as a Union Territory from Assam in 1972.

At least six policemen and a civilian from Assam died on July 26 last year as the border dispute turned violent when police forces of both states exchanged fire on the disputed area near Vairengte town on the National Highway-306.

Also Read Mizoram: Delegations of Assam and Mizoram to hold border talks

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