Aizawl: Days after the Mizoram Cabinet declared that the inner line reserved forest, declared by the colonial British and notified in 1875 under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873, belonged to Mizoram, several parties including the main opposition Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) and Congress on Wednesday demanded that the state government protect the state’s boundary.
In a statement, the ZPM slammed the state government for not being worried to resolve the state’s border dispute with neighbouring Assam.
“The Mizoram government has insulted the people by sending its policemen to be only spectators to the border dispute occurred on July 6 near Vairengte when Assam forest department renovated an old army movie theater for forest house,” the statement said.
The ZPM said that leaders of the Mizo National Front (MNF), who sincerely promised to protect the state’s boundary during a border dispute at Zophai area in March 2018, are now afraid of visiting the border area.
The party said that all political parties and NGOs agreed to submit a memoramdum, seeking the formation of boundary commission, to the then prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh in 2007. The MNF was in power then.
The previous MNF government had failed to submit the memorandum, it said.
Though welcoming the cabinet decision, the Congress is sceptical about the state government. Based on previous experience, MNF government was not sincere enough to protect the state’s boundary, Congress said in a statement on Wednesday.
It said that Mizoram was forced to accept the “imposed boundary” as per the Northeast Areas Reorganisation Act,1971 and State of Mizoram Act, 1986, which was passed based on the “MNF accord”.
The party asked the state government to stand firm to protect the state’s boundary which is notified in 1875 under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.
A newly floated People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM) also asked the state government to vacate the Assam forest department from disputed land near Vairengte on the NH-54 and deploy its forces to protect the state’s border there.
Party president Vanlalruata said that the inner line reserve forest notified under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation belongs to Mizoram and it is accepted by the people of Mizoram as the actual boundary of the state.
The party demanded that the state government should deploy police along the Mizoram-Assam border to protect state’s boundary.