Assam-Mizoram Border Issue: Trucks Resume Movement After 12 Days of Dispute

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Trucks from the rest of the country rumbled into Mizoram across a disputed border with neighbouring Assam late Saturday night, some 12 days after a bloody clash between police forces of the two states.

Truckers who had parked their trucks at Dholai near the tense border and refused to move even after an informal blockade enforced by locals had been lifted, started moving essential supplies including medicines, diesel and cooking gas after two Assam Ministers Ashok Singhal and Parimal Suklabaidya on Saturday convinced them it was safe to travel across the border to Mizoram.

Kolasib Superintendent of Police (SP), Vanlalfaka Ralte said more than 50 vehicles have entered Mizoram since Saturday night till Sunday morning.

“Traffic movement between the two neighbouring states as of now is quite smooth…However, we are still on alert as untoward incident can happen at any time,” Ralte, who is camping at Vairengte, told PTI over the phone.

Cachar Superintendent of Police Ramandeep Kaur also confirmed to PTI that vehicles “have been moving under heavy police escorts. Though initially there was some resistance from locals, after the two ministers held negotiations, the vehicles started moving.” Silchar’s Mizoram House Liaison Officer (LO) Kaptluanga said that before trucking began in earnest, some 9 Mizoram-bound vehicles were attacked and vandalised by miscreants at Lailapur on Saturday evenning.

The development happened after Assam and Mizoram ministers met last week to thrash out differences and agreed to maintain calm along the border and resolve their differences amicably.

Some drivers however remained reluctant to move their vehicles across the border. Rahul Hussain, a stranded driver, said they “were willing to enter Mizoram” but demanded a written assurance for protection to be given.

Despite an attempt by Home Minister Amit Shah to resolve a raft of long-standing border disuptes between Assam and its neighbours earlier last month, at least six Assam Police personnel and one civilian were killed and more than 50 people injured in a fire-fight between the police of the two states on July 26, which broke on Assam’s Cachar border with Mizoram.

The two states share a 164.6-km border between Assam’s Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts, and Mizoram’s Kolasib, Mamit and Aizawl districts.

Both states have differing interpretations of their territorial border. While Mizoram believes that its border lies along an ‘inner line’ drawn up in 1875 to protect tribals from outside influence, Assam goes by a district demarcation done in the 1930s.

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