Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga and his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday sought Union Home Minister Amit Shah's intervention over the worsening border tension between the two states.
This happened after fresh violence broke out at the Assam-Mizoram border. The Mizoram Chief Minister tweeted a video where people are seen armed with sticks. He urged the Union Home Minister to "kindly look into the matter". "This needs to be stopped right now," he said.
The Assam Police, meanwhile, alleged that miscreants from Mizoram are indulging in stone-pelting and attacking government officials from Assam.
"It's unfortunate that miscreants from Mizoram are indulging in stone-pelting & attack at Assam Govt Officials, stationed at Lailapur to protect Assam's land from encroachment," Assam Police said.
Zoramthanga then shared another video and wrote: "Innoncent couple on their way back to Mizoram via Cachar manhandled and ransacked by thugs and goons. How are you going to justify these violent acts?"
In reply, Himanta Biswa Sarma shared a video and said a superintendent of police from Mizoram's Kolasib was asking Assam’s officials to withdraw from their post, failing which civilians from the neighbouring state would not stop the violence. The Assam CM also sought immediate intervention of Amit Shah and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
"Honble @ZoramthangaCM ji , Kolasib ( Mizoram) SP is asking us to withdraw from our post until then their civilians won't listen nor stop violence. How can we run government in such circumstances? Hope you will intervene at earliest @AmitShah @PMOIndia," Sarma tweeted.
Soon after, Zoramthanga wrote to Sarma, "After a cordial meeting of CMs (chaired) by Shah, two companies of Assam Police with civilians lathicharged and tear gassed civilians at Vairengte Auto Rickshaw stand inside Mizoram today. They even overrun CRPF personnel/Mizoram Police."
Sarma later said he spoke to his Mizoram counterpart and "reiterated that Assam will maintain status quo and peace between the borders of our state". "I have expressed my willingness to visit Aizawl and discuss these issues if need be," he tweeted.
"As discussed, I kindly urge that Assam Police be instructed to withdraw from Vairengte for the safety of civilians," Zoramthanga replied. on
Earlier on Saturday, the Mizoram Chief Minister had said that border disputes in India's northeastern states are a legacy of the colonial era and lasting peace between states is important to further development in the region.
Speaking at a meeting of North-East Chief Ministers, chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah at the State Convention Centre in Shillong, Zoramthanga addressed the border dispute between Mizoram and Assam and said that the area claimed by the latter has been used by people from Mizoram for over 100 years.
"The border disputes between the states of the North-east region are a legacy of the colonial era that the present government inherited from its predecessor which has been left unresolved at the time of the formation of States like Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram," he said.
He added, "The large tract of areas claimed by Assam to be within its constitutional boundary has been used for collection of forest producers and for shifting and settled cultivation for the past 100 plus years by the people of Mizoram, and that Assam started claiming these areas only fairly recently due to population pressure apparently caused by the large-scale influx of migrants from outside Barak valley," he said.
Zoramthanga further requested the Assam government to respect and honour the situation on the ground and desist from disturbing the peaceful environment.
He also called upon them to withdraw their armed police camping at various locations in the agriculture fields of Mizo farmers since June 29.
For the uninitiated, three Mizoram districts - Aizawl, Kolasib and Mamit - share a 164.6 km long inter-state border with Assam's Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts. Reportedly, there have been clashes at the "disputed" areas of the border for years, with the residents on both sides accusing each other of encroaching on their lands. The last incident was reported in June, when security forces of both states exchanged allegations of "intrusion". Later on July 9, a chief secretary-level meeting was held in New Delhi to end the border imbroglio. However, there was no major breakthrough.
(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.)