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Assam-Mizoram Border Row Can Only be Solved Through Talks: Himanta Biswa Sarma

Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to the Assam CM and Mizoram CM on the telephone and asked the two states to defuse the tensions on the border of the two states.

Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma says border dispute with Mizoram should be solved in a peaceful way (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday said that the inter-state border disputes between Assam and Mizoram should be peacefully solved, six days after a violent clash left seven dead and over 50 injured. Sarma said that talks were the only way to resolve the dispute.

These comments come after the Mizoram Police named Sarma in an FIR and charge him with criminal conspiracy and attempt to murder.

Our main focus is on keeping the spirit of North-East alive. What happened along the Assam-Mizoram border is unacceptable to the people of both states. Honble CM @ZoramthangaCM had promised to call me post his quarantine. Border disputes can only be resolved through discussion,” tweeted Sarma.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to the Assam CM and Mizoram CM on the telephone and asked the two states to defuse the tensions on the border of the two states.

Earlier this month, Shah had attempted to resolve the border dispute, violence on the border left six Assamese policemen and one civilian dead.

Several people were injured including the police chief of Cachar district, in Assam.

The Mizoram police had lodged an FIR against Sarma and six Assam officials under various charges, including charges of attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy, at Vairengte police station.

The Assam Police have filed a complaint of their own against six officials of the Mizoram government including the deputy commissioner and superintendent of police of Kolasib district.

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These officials have been asked to appear at Dholai police station on Monday.

The Home Ministry had negotiated a truce between the two states which called for the withdrawal of police forces by both the states and allow Central forces to act as peacekeepers.

Assam Legislative Assembly Speaker Biswajit Daimari pays tribute to martyrs of Assam Police who were killed in Assam-Mizoram border dispute recently, in Guwahati, Sunday, August 1, 2021. (PTI Photo)

However, both sides have on the contrary continued to bolster the police force which has not helped in easing the tensions along the border.

Assamese local organisations which had soon after the clash announced an economic blockade of Mizoram have since lifted their `blockade, but truckers afraid of possible violence have opted to either park their vehicles near the border in Cachar district’s Dholai or to circumvent the troubled boundary by taking a longer route through Tripura.

The Assam government on Thursday had also issued an unprecedented travel advisory asking people not to travel to Mizoram and advised people from the state working or staying there to “exercise utmost caution.”

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Tension along the border with Mizoram in Cachar and Hailakandi districts of Assam have been escalating since October 2020 with frequent incidents of burning of houses and encroachment of land.

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.

With inputs from PTI

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