Aizawl: The Mizoram government is making efforts to evict Assam Police camping at Aitlang, Buarchep and Saihapui ‘V’ areas along the state border with Assam, state Home Minister Lalchamliana informed the state assembly on Monday.

Mizoram shares 164.6 km inter-state boundary with Assam. Personnel of Assam police have been camping at Aitlang, Buarchep and Saihapui ‘V’ areas since June last year following a border dispute.

Replying to a question from Lalrindika Ralte of opposition Congress, Lalchamliana said the Mizoram government is taking measures to evict the Assam police personnel from Aitlang area, which borders Assam’s Hailakandi district and Buarchep and Saihapui ‘V’ areas near Cachar district in Assam.

He said the state government is also taking steps to strengthen the state police guarding the state border with Assam.

The home minister informed the state legislature that both the Mizoram and Assam governments are contradicting each other on the boundary.

Mizoram has accepted the demarcations mentioned in the inner line on the southern frontier of Cachar, which was notified on 20 August 1987 as its actual boundary with Assam, he said.

A vast stretch of area under the inner line is now occupied or under Assam, he said. “We have not yet lost our territories or boundaries, but we are making efforts to take back from them,” the home minister informed the assembly, adding that the actual size of Mizoram’s territories, which now come under Assam, could not be measured and stated.

The home minister said that the Mizoram government and the Mizo people are firm on the 1875 notification as its boundary but it is uncertain and unpredictable that Mizoram will retain the lost boundaries.

“Although both state governments are making efforts to resolve the long-standing border dispute by holding dialogues from district administration level to chief minister level, no tangible results have been achieved till now,” he said.

The present Mizoram government and its predecessors from Mizo district-Union Territory till statehood were keen on resolving the boundary dispute with Assam.

“Boundary dispute is not a subject of one state alone but two and a consensus from both the states is required to resolve the dispute,” he said.

The minister added that the state government has formed a boundary committee involving all political parties, NGOs and other stakeholders under the chairmanship of deputy chief minister Tawnluia to take steps as regards the state boundary.
He said the boundary committee had met at least three times and proposed for dialogues as its approach to resolving the border dispute.

The committee has also prepared papers to be presented before the team of Manohar Parrikar Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses when they visit the state, he said.

The minister also said that the Assam government has proposed to constitute a regional committee of both states and the Mizoram government is waiting for the term of reference of the proposed regional committee from its Assam counterpart.

In a written reply, the home minister also said that the government has not considered compensating farmers at Aitlang area, whose crops have been allegedly destroyed by the Assam police.

The boundary dispute between the two northeastern states is a long-standing issue, which stemmed from two colonial demarcations in 1875 and 1933. While Mizoram government accepted the 1875 notification as its actual boundary, the Assam government, on the other hand, said the demarcations made under 1933 notification was its constitution boundary.

The border dispute took an ugly turn on July 26 last year when police forces of both states exchanged fire at the disputed area near Vairengte village on the National Highway, leading to the death of six policemen and a civilian from Assam. Around 60 people had also been injured in the violent clash. In August, a ministerial-level meeting was held in Aizawl during which both states agreed to maintain peace and amicably resolve the boundary dispute through dialogue.

Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga and his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma met over the border issue in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi in November last year and agreed to form panels of their own involving all stakeholders to resolve the border dispute through dialogue.

Toward this end, both leaders also agreed to have chief minister-level talks from time to time. 

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