Mizoram-Assam agree on cordial relations between police forces on inter-state border

Mizoram-Assam have agreed to cordial relationships between the police and inter-state borders

Aizawl:  Mizoram and Assam agreed to maintain cordial relations between police forces of both states posted along the inter-state border, an official statement said.

According to the statement, both parties agreed to make sure that the economic activities along the border are not disrupted and that farmers can continue working on their respective farms. 

As a result of the Ministerial Level Talk held August 9, five Border District Commissioners (two from Mizoram, three from Assam) met on Wednesday at a Central Reserve Police Force Camp on the Mizoram–Assam frontier to discuss the border problem.

The meeting agreed to maintain cordial and friendly relations between police personnel of both states posted along the inter-state boundary.It also agreed to take measures to ensure that farmers on either side of the borders are allowed to carry out cultivation and other economic activities freely. 

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In addition to DCs, other state and CRPF officials attended the meeting. It also addressed a broad range of issues including coordinating efforts to help protect forests along both sides of the border, prevent illegal hunting, transport and transportation of wild animals and celebrate selling Mizoram areca nuts to neighbouring states.

The meeting deliberated on the issue of the ongoing construction of bridges near Mizoram’s Thinghlun village and Zophai on the Mizoram-Assam border by Mizoram and agreed to approach higher authorities to resolve the major problems on the issue. Three Mizoram’s districts- Aizawl, Kolasib and Mamit- share a 164.6 km long boundary with Assam’s Hailakandi, Karimganj and Cachar districts. 

The border dispute between the two states is a long-standing issue, which stemmed from two colonial demarcations- 1875 and 1933. Mizoram held that a 509 square miles stretch of inner line reserved forest notified in 1875 under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR) 1873, a certain section of which now falls under Assam, is the actual boundary of the state.

Assam on the other hand claimed that the boundary as per a survey of India’s map in 1933 is the constitutional boundary of the state. Certain areas, which are now occupied by Mizoram, fall under the 1933 demarcation.

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However, there are no proper ground demarcations between the two neighbouring states especially after Mizoram was carved out as a Union Territory from Assam in 1972.

The border dispute turned ugly on July 26 last year when police forces of the two neighbouring states exchanged fire near Vairengte on the NH-306 leading to the death of six policemen and a civilian from Assam. 

The violent clash also left around 60 people with injuries. 

On August 9, both the states held a ministerial-level meeting in Aizawl and agreed to promote and maintain peace along the borders.

A joint statement was signed by both sides at the talks. It stated that they agreed to meet at least twice a month with deputy commissioners from bordering districts.

Both sides had also agreed that economic activities, including cultivation and farming, which have been practised by the people on either side of the borders should not be disturbed and decided to hold the next round of talks in October.