Unresolved Assam-Mizoram Border Dispute
Solution possible only if Centre wants, claims BJP top leader from Barak Valley as Dispur fails to resolve issue
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government in Dispur might be claiming that the Assam-Mizoram border issue has been resolved but it is something that has remained pending for many years. In fact, unless the Centre intervenes and vows to resolve the issue, it is being termed impossible.
A prominent political leader of Barak Valley who is a member of BJP, talking to G Plus under the condition of anonymity said, “They (people from Mizoram) keep coming to our land in Assam for many years. During the previous government in the state, they had captured many kilometres. The dispute is visible now as this time when they came, the present government did not allow them.” He claimed that the dispute remains for the last 50 years.
According to media reports, the boundary issue between Assam and Mizoram exists since almost 50 years after the formation of Mizoram firstly as a union territory in 1972 when it was separated from Assam, and later as a full-fledged state in 1987.
The signing of the Mizoram Peace Accord in June 1986 between the government of India and the Mizo National Front (MNF), ended the age-old insurgency of the Mizos and led Mizoram to gain statehood. However, boundary issues that remained suppressed earlier became a border dispute after the separation.
A resident of Lailapur, Dilip Dey, talking to G Plus said, “It is a long-pending dispute and only the residents of Assam suffer in the entire dispute.” According to him, people from Mizoram come down to Assam anytime they want, set up shop anywhere they want and bully the locals of Assam. According to Dey, it has been happening since a long time. It’s just that this time the scenario became bigger.
According to cabinet minister Parimal Suklabaidya, the state government is vigilant about the issue and all top officials of the state have visited the area to ease the situation which is under control now. But even he has agreed that it is a temporary solution.
“Only the Centre can find a permanent solution,” said Suklabaidya asserting that the issue has remained long pending.
The deputy commissioner of Silchar along with forest officials visited the Aitlang Khal area along the Assam-Mizoram border and talked to the locals on 18th November last. The locals told them that a few Mizo people visited the area and Mizo miscreants have removed the forest boundary pillars in the area. The deputy commissioner and the police further decided to increase security as miscreants from Mizoram have already demolished two schools in the area belonging to Assam.
The locals of Aitlang Khal live in fear as they are scared that miscreants from Mizoram might attack them any time.
Mizoram’s security forces were deployed in the area belonging to Assam till a few days back. The security forces backed off after the Centre held high-level talks with the two-state governments to work out a temporary solution to defuse the tension brewing on both sides over the last three weeks due to violent clashes that led to a blockade in Assam.
On 8th November last, after a meeting between the home secretaries of Assam and Mizoram with Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, Mizoram decided to withdraw the state forces from the disputed border areas and deploy Border Security Force (BSF) personnel instead.
Mizoram will deploy three BSF companies in the disputed areas of Vairengte, Saihapui ‘V’ village in Kolasib district and at Thinghlun village in Mamit district, where the clashes originated last month.
It was decided that both states will withdraw the state forces in a graded manner.
It was also decided at the talks that Assam will lift its economic blockade on National Highway 306, the lifeline of Mizoram. The blockade has been lifted but the forces are yet to be withdrawn.
Since the last 50 years, the border dispute has remained unresolved and eternally it is usually the people from Assam who suffer the most. When will Assam persuade the Centre for solving the issue permanently remains a question.
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