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Turmoil in the North East: Assam-Mizoram peace talks to continue in Guwahati in October

The border dispute had turned violent when six Assam Police personnel were killed in clashes at Vairengte in July 2021

Sabrangindia 13 Aug 2022

Assam

The governments of Assam and Mizoram signed a joint statement on August 9, 2022, resolving to continue talks to resolve the border dispute between the two states. Ministerial talks took place in Aizawl, the capital city of Mizoram, following which the joint statement was released. The next meeting is scheduled to take place in October in Guwahati.

The statement reads, “Both the States reaffirm the Joint Statement of 5th August 2021 in letter and spirit. Both the States agreed to promote and maintain peace and to prevent any untoward incident along the borders, the Deputy Commissioners of the bordering districts of both States shall meet at least once in two months.”

The states also agreed to ensure economic activities, especially farming, be allowed to continue without any hiccups, especially along and across the border. Assam was represented by minister Atul Bora, while  State Home Minister Lalchamliana represented Mizoram at the meeting in Aizawl.

Bora tweeted saying, “We are hopeful that today's meeting will go a long way in finding amicable solutions & convey positive message to the people living on either side of the border.”

 

 

Brief Background of the border dispute

SabrangIndia had previously reported, the problem stems from an unresolved border-dispute between the states. In colonial times, Mizoram was a district of Assam and was called Lushai Hills. In 1875 a notification was issued that differentiated Lushai Hills from the Cachar plains.

Today, three districts of Mizoram — Kolasib, Aizawl and Mamit — share a border with southern Assam's Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts. It is alleged that in many places the border is not properly demarcated leaving it porous, thus leading to encroachment.

The border dispute talks had to be put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but intermittent violence has been reported in the region even during the lockdown.

In fact, as we had reported earlier, on October 17, 2020, clashes had broken out in Vairengte, when people from Lailapur broke the status quo and allegedly constructed some temporary huts. People from Mizoram side then went and allegedly set fire to them.

In the same month, on October 9, 2020, similar clashes had broken out along the border between Assam’s Karimganj district and Mizoram’s Mamit district when a hut and betel nut plantation belonging to two Mizoram farmers were set on fire. Though the area has been cultivated historically by Mizoram farmers, the spot falls in the territory of the Singla Forest Reserve that falls under the jurisdiction of Karimganj district of Assam.

The July 26, 2021 clashes

SabrangIndia had previously reported the July 26 incident was triggered at an autorickshaw stand in Vairengte, Mizoram and involved vehicles travelling to and from Lailapur, Assam.

Trouble began when a large number of Assam Police personnel including an Inspector General (IG), Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Superintendent of Police (SP) as well as a District Collector reached the area purportedly to investigate alleged Mizo incursion into Assam territory. They faced opposition from local Mizo groups.

Policemen clashed with armed protesters, while chief ministers of both states had a war of words on Twitter. While Mizoram CM Zoramthanga claimed that an Assam Police vehicle ran over a local check post of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Assam Chief Minister accused Mizoram Police of opening fire using Light Machine Guns (LMG).

Six Assam Police personnel were reported killed in the clashes. Assam issued a travel advisory against Mizoram and an informal economic blockade began when a major highway was blocked. Mizoram raised concerns about trucks carrying Covid-19 medication and oxygen cylinder left stuck on the highway in Lailapur ever since the conflict erupted, and blamed “miscreants” from Assam for virtually setting up a blockade on National Highway 306, which is virtually Mizoram’s lifeline.

 

Related:

Turmoil in the North East: Assam – Mizoram border dispute escalates

Turmoil in the North East: 5 killed as conflict re-erupts on Assam-Mizoram border

Turmoil in the North East: Assam-Mizoram border dispute heats up

Turmoil in the North East: Assam-Mizoram peace talks to continue in Guwahati in October

The border dispute had turned violent when six Assam Police personnel were killed in clashes at Vairengte in July 2021

Assam

The governments of Assam and Mizoram signed a joint statement on August 9, 2022, resolving to continue talks to resolve the border dispute between the two states. Ministerial talks took place in Aizawl, the capital city of Mizoram, following which the joint statement was released. The next meeting is scheduled to take place in October in Guwahati.

The statement reads, “Both the States reaffirm the Joint Statement of 5th August 2021 in letter and spirit. Both the States agreed to promote and maintain peace and to prevent any untoward incident along the borders, the Deputy Commissioners of the bordering districts of both States shall meet at least once in two months.”

The states also agreed to ensure economic activities, especially farming, be allowed to continue without any hiccups, especially along and across the border. Assam was represented by minister Atul Bora, while  State Home Minister Lalchamliana represented Mizoram at the meeting in Aizawl.

Bora tweeted saying, “We are hopeful that today's meeting will go a long way in finding amicable solutions & convey positive message to the people living on either side of the border.”

 

 

Brief Background of the border dispute

SabrangIndia had previously reported, the problem stems from an unresolved border-dispute between the states. In colonial times, Mizoram was a district of Assam and was called Lushai Hills. In 1875 a notification was issued that differentiated Lushai Hills from the Cachar plains.

Today, three districts of Mizoram — Kolasib, Aizawl and Mamit — share a border with southern Assam's Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts. It is alleged that in many places the border is not properly demarcated leaving it porous, thus leading to encroachment.

The border dispute talks had to be put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but intermittent violence has been reported in the region even during the lockdown.

In fact, as we had reported earlier, on October 17, 2020, clashes had broken out in Vairengte, when people from Lailapur broke the status quo and allegedly constructed some temporary huts. People from Mizoram side then went and allegedly set fire to them.

In the same month, on October 9, 2020, similar clashes had broken out along the border between Assam’s Karimganj district and Mizoram’s Mamit district when a hut and betel nut plantation belonging to two Mizoram farmers were set on fire. Though the area has been cultivated historically by Mizoram farmers, the spot falls in the territory of the Singla Forest Reserve that falls under the jurisdiction of Karimganj district of Assam.

The July 26, 2021 clashes

SabrangIndia had previously reported the July 26 incident was triggered at an autorickshaw stand in Vairengte, Mizoram and involved vehicles travelling to and from Lailapur, Assam.

Trouble began when a large number of Assam Police personnel including an Inspector General (IG), Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Superintendent of Police (SP) as well as a District Collector reached the area purportedly to investigate alleged Mizo incursion into Assam territory. They faced opposition from local Mizo groups.

Policemen clashed with armed protesters, while chief ministers of both states had a war of words on Twitter. While Mizoram CM Zoramthanga claimed that an Assam Police vehicle ran over a local check post of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Assam Chief Minister accused Mizoram Police of opening fire using Light Machine Guns (LMG).

Six Assam Police personnel were reported killed in the clashes. Assam issued a travel advisory against Mizoram and an informal economic blockade began when a major highway was blocked. Mizoram raised concerns about trucks carrying Covid-19 medication and oxygen cylinder left stuck on the highway in Lailapur ever since the conflict erupted, and blamed “miscreants” from Assam for virtually setting up a blockade on National Highway 306, which is virtually Mizoram’s lifeline.

 

Related:

Turmoil in the North East: Assam – Mizoram border dispute escalates

Turmoil in the North East: 5 killed as conflict re-erupts on Assam-Mizoram border

Turmoil in the North East: Assam-Mizoram border dispute heats up

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