- NET Web Desk, Ezrela Dalidia Fanai
The Assam & Mizoram Government today inked a joint statement at Mizoram’s Aizawl, in an effort to take forward the resolution process of boundary dispute between the two northeastern states.
According to an official statement, “both the states reaffirm the joint statement of August 5, 2021 in letter and spirit.”
“Both the states agreed to promote, maintain peace and to prevent any untoward incident along the borders, the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) of the bordering districts of both states shall meet atleast once in two months,” – the statement further reads.
“Both the states agreed that economic activities including – cultivation and farming, which have been practiced by the people along the borders of the two states shall 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,” – added the statement.
Meanwhile, next meeting between the High-Level delegation of the two states shall take place at Guwahati during October 2022, where issues and claims will be deliberated in details.
A five-member delegation headed by the Assam Border Protection and Development Minister – Atul Bora reached today on a two-day visit to Mizoram; in order to discuss the matters pertaining to the inter-state border dispute.
Bora was accompanied by the Assam Housing and Urban Minister Ashok Singhal and three officials, including Assam Border Protection and Development Commissioner and secretary – G D Tripathy.
Whereas, the Mizoram team was led by the Home Minister Lalchamliana. He was accompanied by the Revenue Minister of Mizoram – Lalruatkima and other officials of the state government.
Expressing gratitude towards the Assam Chief Minister – Himanta Biswa Sarma, Bora noted that “Under his initiative, the government of Assam has taken a positive steps towards settling the border disputes conclusively, and we are confident that although the border dispute between Assam and Mizoram is different from Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh, we shall find a solution to the decades-old dispute between Assam and Mizoram.”
Responding to a query on whether the Assam government has continued developmental projects in the Inner Line Forest Reserve Area under the status quo, Bora replied that such actions have not been initiated by the Assam government.
Taking to Twitter, Bora wrote “Following today’s meeting of Assam-Mizoram boundary, signed a joint statement with Hon’ble Mizoram Home Minister Shri Lalchamliana.”
Following today's meeting of Assam-Mizoram boundary, signed a joint statement with Hon'ble Mizoram Home Minister Shri Lalchamliana. pic.twitter.com/tx7SLhNUUm
— Atul Bora (@ATULBORA2) August 9, 2022
He also stated that before the next meeting scheduled for October 2022, officials will have detailed discussions on various modalities.
Besides, the Mizoram Home Minister Lalchamliana expressed his heartfelt gratitude towards the Mizoram Government for the efforts, goodwill and determination to resolve the border issue.
He lauded the measures initiated by the Assam Government and its delegates, for resolving the border disputes through dialogues.
“All problems cannot be solved at once like having a magic wall. The Boundary Committee under the leadership of the Deputy Chief Minister Tawnluia, will prepare for the details to be laid-out at the next meeting scheduled to be held in October this year,” – he added.
Responding to the query of whether the First Information Report (FIR) filed by the Assam Government has been withdrawn, Lalchamliana remarked that further actions require the involvement of the law and judiciary department and shall be discussed in the October meeting.
Its worthy to note that Mizoram shares a 164.6-km long boundary with Assam, which has witnessed disputes in the recent years.
The decades-old boundary dispute between the two northeastern states mainly erupted from two colonial demarcations in 1875 and 1933.
Mizoram recognized the demarcation established under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BERF) notified in 1875, which covers extensive areas, that currently falls under Assam.
However, the Assam administration pointed-out the 1933 notification’s delineation which falls within constitutional bounds.
Atleast six policemen and a civilian from Assam died in 2021, while nearly 60 people were injured in an altercation that occurred at a disputed location, adjacent to the inter-state border. In August 2021, the representatives of both states had held talks in Mizoram’s capital Aizawl.
Following the tragic incident, both the state governments consented to uphold tranquilly and negotiate a peaceful settlement of the interstate boundary dispute.