Guwahati / Aizawl / Dimapur
The restive Assam-Mizoram border stayed quiet on Saturday as Guwahati moved in to defuse tensions with some of its northeastern neighbours to ensure tranquility along the interstate boundaries, officials said.
Notwithstanding the uneventful situation, five days after a bloody border clash between Assam and Mizoram police, backed by hordes of aggressive civilians, left six police personnel and a civilian dead, not a single truck carrying supplies from Assam entered the neighbouring state.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, meanwhile, questioned the rationale behind the Mizoram government registering an FIR against him and six state officials over the recent border clash when its place of occurrence is within his state's "constitutional territory".
No vehicles carrying essential commodities or passengers from Assam have entered Mizoram since Monday, the day of the armed clash, Officer in-charge of Vairengte police station Lalchawimawa said on Saturday. Assam, which even issued an advisory asking its citizens to avoid visiting Mizoram, has been insisting that no economic blockade is in place.
Lalchawimawa said not a single vehicle from Assam entered Mizoram even on Saturday but some trucks were heading towards Assam's Barak valley from there. Located on the northern fringe of the state, Vairengte is the nearest border town and gateway to Mizoram near where the violent clash had occurred.
Mizoram Home Secretary Lalbiaksangi had said in her letter to Union Additional Home Secretary in charge of the northeast that vehicles carrying essential commodities and Covid-19 consignments like test kits were stranded in Lailapur-Dholai area in Assam's Cachar district on the National Highway-306.
Lalrozama, Deputy Commissioner of Mamit district, which also shares border with Tripura, told PTI that some essential supplies, including oil and LPG, are reaching the state from there.
Meanwhile, betraying the unease in his state's relations with Mizoram, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said he will be "very happy" to join the probe but wondered why is it not being handed over to a "neutral agency".
Assam’s other border feuds
-- Assam also has border disputes with Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.
-- Nagaland and Arunachal border dispute cases are pending in the Supreme Court.
-- More than100 people have been killed, most of them on the Assam side, in attacks by armed men from Nagaland in separate incidents in the years 1979, 1985, and 2014.
-- The Meghalaya government informed the state assembly in 2020 that 56 incidents related to the border dispute with Assam have taken place since the year 2017.
A LOOK BACK
The border dispute between Assam and Nagaland began soon after Nagaland became a state in 1963. The Nagaland State Act of 1962 had defined the state’s borders as per a 1925 notification when Naga Hills and Tuensang Area were integrated into a new administrative unit. Nagaland, however, did not accept the boundary delineation and demanded the new state should also have all Naga-dominated area in North Cachar and Nagaon districts of Assam. Major clashes on the inter-state border took place several times since 1965.
Assam’s all-party team to visit Delhi, urge Centre to resolve Mizoram boundary dispute
Silchar: A 19-member all-party delegation of Assam assembly, headed by Speaker Biswajit Daimary, on Saturday decided to visit Delhi and urge the Centre to resolve the state's boundary dispute with Mizoram at the earliest. The delegation visited Lailapur close to the inter-state border where the clash took place on July 26 in which six Assam Police personnel and one civilian were killed, and later held a meeting at Silchar. “It was decided at the meeting that an all-party delegation will meet the central government authorities and urge them to resolve the border dispute at the earliest as well as ensure that the constitutional boundaries were maintained,” an official release said. The delegation members unanimously decided to support the Assam govt in all measures it takes to “protect the border” at any stage of the ongoing dispute in the interest of people.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)