Express News Service
GUWAHATI: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday said the situation on the Assam-Mizoram interstate boundary was tense due to the border disputes between the two provinces.
“…Regarding the Assam-Mizoram border, the situation is not conducive. Eyeball to eyeball confrontation is going on in Hailakandi, Cachar, and Karimganj,” Sarma told journalists.
The three districts in southern Assam’s Barak Valley share their boundary with Mizoram.
In the aftermath of some recent untoward incidents, including bomb blasts, along the interstate border, both states deployed a large number of policemen to the disputed areas.
“Recently, Union Home Secretary (Ajay Kumar Bhalla) had discussed the issue with the chief secretaries of both states to resolve the crisis. As of now, the situation on the border is fragile,” Sarma said.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who will be in Meghalaya on a two-day visit beginning on July 23, is likely to discuss Assam’s border disputes with Meghalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, and Mizoram with the CMs of the states.
Sarma said he would meet his Meghalaya counterpart Conrad K Sangma on July 23 to try and resolve the disputes amicably. He said he would also meet Arunachal Chief Minister Pema Khandu to discuss the border situation. He said Assam’s border dispute with Nagaland was pending in the Supreme Court.
“We expect some headway on the Assam-Meghalaya and Assam-Arunachal fronts. But I don’t expect any immediate result on the Assam-Mizoram border. It will take some time,” Sarma added.
Mizoram has a different perception of its boundary with Assam which is based on the British era notification of 1875.
In a letter to the Assam CM, Aizawl Municipal Corporation councilor Rosiamngheta said the British government and the then Mizo chief Suakpuilala had in 1875 agreed to a point near river Dholai as the boundary between the two places. He said since then, the Mizos have accepted it and never heard of any other boundary.
But in 1933, Rosiamngheta said the British government determined the Assam boundary again without the knowledge or consent of the Mizos.
“In 1971, the NEARA Act re-identified the interstate boundary once again without the consent or knowledge of the Mizos. Much of Mizo land under British rule was included in Assam territory…
“The boundary fixation of 1971 has never been accepted by the Mizo people. Assam has wrongly claimed possession over Mizo land by fore deal due to the Mizo yearning for peace and security,” the Mizoram councilor wrote to the Assam CM.