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CMs of Assam, Mizoram meet to discuss inter-state border row

Assam and Mizoram on Thursday decided to increase the fencing along their inter-state border, which has seen violence that claimed the lives of five Assam Police personnel and a civilian last July.

Assam | Mizoram | North East

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga

and on Thursday decided to increase the fencing along their inter-state border, which has seen violence that claimed the lives of five Police personnel and a civilian last July.

Chief Minister Zoramthanga described his about two-hour long meeting with counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma as "cordial".

The two chief ministers met to resolve their boundary disputes apparently following an intervention of the Union home ministry, officials said.

Assam and share a 164-km-long border.

"We had a very good meeting. We are like brothers. Tomorrow we will meet the Union Home Minister (Amit Shah) together. We will try to increase our fencing all along the border," Zoramthanga told reporters after the meeting.

However, Sarma said they did not discuss anything except enjoying the dinner together.

"We enjoyed the dinner together since we are good friends. We will meet the home minister tomorrow. Nothing discussed today," Sarma said.

Zoramthanga also said he was looking forward to many more of such "progressive meetings".

"Thank you for your warm hospitable reception Shri @himantabiswa ji and Shri @ATULBORA2 ji. Cordial discussions on various developmental topic for the welfare of Northeast India was discussed. Looking forward to many more progressive meeting," Zoramthanga tweeted with the hashtag #peace.

He also tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah in his tweet.

Atul Bora is Assam's border affairs minister.

According to an official, the central government wants a peaceful resolution of the border dispute between Assam and Mizoram and the Union home minister is believed to be in regular touch with the two chief ministers for a peaceful resolution of the issue.

Following the July 26 violence, both Assam and Mizoram Police registered separate cases naming each other's political leaders and police and civil officials.

However, some of these cases were withdrawn following a truce.

The chief secretaries and DGPs of the two states on July 28 attended a meeting chaired by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla where the decision to deploy a neutral central force (CRPF) at the clash site was taken.

Five Assam Police personnel and a civilian were killed and over 50 others, including a superintendent of police, were injured when the Mizoram Police opened fire on a team of the Assam officials on July 26 following clashes along the two states' border.

While the Mizoram government claimed that a 509 square-mile stretch of the inner-line reserve forest notified in 1875 under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation of 1873 belongs to it, the Assam side insisted that the constitutional map and boundary drawn by survey of India in 1933 was acceptable to it.

After a massive tussle in 2018, the border row resurfaced in August last year and then in February this year.

However, the escalating tensions were successfully defused after a series of parleys with the intervention of the Centre.

On June 5, two abandoned houses along the Mizoram-Assam border were burnt down by unidentified people, fuelling tension along the volatile inter-state border.

Nearly a month after this incident, fresh border standoff cropped up again with both trading charges of encroachment on each other lands.

While Mizoram accused Assam of encroaching upon its land and forcefully seized Aitlang area about 5 km west of Vairengte village, the neighbouring state accused Mizoram of building structures and planting betel nut and banana saplings allegedly 10 km inside Hailakandi district.

Two makeshift camps erected by Mizoram Police on the disputed area were damaged by Assam Police during a recent confrontation.

Officials said razing of two camps constructed by Mizos and also a COVID-19 testing centre built by them was part of the efforts to foil Mizoram's bid to capture its land on the border.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Fri, November 26 2021. 02:25 IST