Violence across Assam-Mizoram border claimed the lives of six policemen and a civilian, and injured over 50 people on Monday, 26th July.
The clashes escalated when the Assam police allegedly crossed a duty-post manned by CRPF personnel and overran a duty-post manned by one section of Mizoram police personnel.
The Chief Ministers of the two states sparred on Twitter and sought Home Minister Amit Shah’s intervention.
Dear Himantaji, after cordial meeting of CMs by Hon’ble Shri @amitshah ji, surprisingly 2 companies of Assam Police with civilians lathicharged & tear gassed civilians at Vairengte Auto Rickshaw stand inside Mizoram today. They even overrun CRPF personnel /Mizoram Police. https://t.co/SrAdH7f7rv— Zoramthanga (@ZoramthangaCM) July 26, 2021
5. We shall file a suit in the Hon Supreme Court seeking intervention to ensure that not an inch of reserve forest are is encroached upon— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) July 27, 2021
The border dispute between the two states is not new. It dates back to the British era when Mizoram was called Lushai Hills and was a part of Assam.
Three Mizoram districts – Aizawl, Kolasib and Mamit share a 165 km inter-state border with three Assam districts – Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj.
In 1875, Lushai Hills was demarcated from the plains of Cachar in Assam’s Barak Valley and it became the basis for the Inner Line Reserve Forest demarcation, later. It is believed that this demarcation was done in consultation with Mizo chiefs.
Mizroram does not accept another demarcation of boundaries done in 1933 between Lushai Hills and Manipur, beginning at the tri-junction of Lushai Hills, Cachar district and Manipur. They believe that their chiefs were not consulted.
The border dispute based on the arbitrary demarcation in 1933 gained momemtum ever since Mizoram became a UT in 1972 and a state in 1980.
While Assam claims that its boundary is often transgressed, Mizoram cites unilateral moves by Assam inside its territory.
In recent months, there have been several incidents of violence on the border villages in Assam and Mizoram.
Following the intervention of Union Home Minister Amit Shah both sides have now retracted their forces and called for peace.
We are firm on our stand to protect the territorial integrity of Assam at any cost.— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) July 27, 2021
At the same time, we will ensure safety of all civilians, either of Assam or from Mizoram. pic.twitter.com/CIoCXl7XUn
I sincerely request all to stay calm and promote peace in this time of great difficulty.#Mizoram hope for an amicable solution with the help of intervention from the Central Government.@narendramodi @AmitShah @PMOIndia @HMOIndia @ministryofhome1 https://t.co/m9AFXzhHMI— Zoramthanga (@ZoramthangaCM) July 28, 2021
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has also said that the state will go to Supreme Court for protection of Innerline Forest Reserve from destruction and encroachment and it will deploy three commando battalions in Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi districts along the Mizoram border.