Amit Shah Discusses Assam-Mizoram Border Tension With Sonowal

The Quint
·3-min read

Union Home Minister Amit Shah talked to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal over phone on Wednesday, 21 October night to take stock of the present situation on the state's border with Mizoram, an official release said.

As per the state government release, Shah was apprised by Sonowal of the measures to defuse the tension, including discussions between senior officials of both states.

Union Home Minister had earlier also discussed the inter-state border issue with Zoramthanga.

Sonowal also said that his Mizoram counterpart Zoramthanga, during a telephonic talk earlier, assured him that he will take positive steps for bolstering peace at the border and strengthening brotherhood among the people of both the states.

Home Secys Decide to Maintain Status Quo

Earlier on Wednesday, in presence of Union Joint Secretary, North East, in the Home Ministry Satyendra Kumar Garg, the Home Secretaries of Assam and Mizoram agreed to maintain the status quo for resolving their fortnight-long border trouble and hold regular talks to prevent any further untoward incidents and sort out any irritants.

The meeting, held at an army camp close to Lailapur in Assam's Cachar district along the inter-state boundary, was also attended by other senior officials from both states.

The release said that Garg, who reached Assam as per the Union Home Minister's direction, held important discussions at Silchar, attended by the senior officials of Assam and Mizoram.

"During the discussion, all border-related issues and steps required to maintain peace and law and order at the inter-state border was discussed thoroughly."

The release also said that Sonowal has directed that seamless movement of trucks and other vehicles through the inter-state border be ensured and this was done and the transport situation has returned to normalcy.

On Wednesday, Mizoram also decided to pull back its forces from the Assam border after intervention of senior officials from the central government, reported NDTV.

"“We will push back the security forces and the trucks will start moving with help of DGP Assam.”" - Mizoram Home Secretary Lalbiaksangi, as quoted by NDTVWhat is the Border Dispute About?

The situation on the 164.6-km Assam-Mizoram border took an ugly turn since earlier this month with around 20 shops and houses burnt and over 50 people injured in the attacks and counter attacks by the people living along the border on Saturday.

Over 300 Mizoram-bound goods laden vehicles, mostly trucks, had stopped in Cachar district as the drivers and owners refused to enter Mizoram without adequate security.

The Mizoram government had alleged that the officials of Karimganj district administration, police and forest department entered western Mizoram's Mamit district and set a farmhouse on fire and destroyed 1,000 betel nut plants at Thinghlun village on 9 October.

Karimganj district Additional Superintendent of Police Jyoti Ranjan Nath, however, said officials from Assam destroyed a temporary shed and some cultivation and not betel nut plantation in Choto Bubir Bandh area on the Assam side of the border which was encroached by some villagers from Mizoram.

However, the root of this dispute is an unresolved border conflict. Mizoram borders Assam’s Barak Valley and they both border Bangladesh. Mizoram civil society groups have blamed the recent incident on “illegal Bangladeshi migrants”.

Although the Assam-Mizoram dispute has remained relatively calm with only very rare instances of violence over the years, the conflict has been simmering since the formation of Mizoram as a separate state in the 1980s.

According to an agreement between governments of Assam and Mizoram some years ago, status quo should be maintained in no-man’s land in the border area, reported The Indian Express.

(With inputs from IANS, NDTV)

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