Assam-Mizoram border row: Shah speaks to chief ministers

Guwahati/Aizawl, Aug 1 (IANS): Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday spoke to the Chief Ministers of Assam and Mizoram and requested them to resolve the inter-state border issue amicably through meaningful dialogue.

Following the Home Minister's call, the two Chief Ministers agreed to resolve the border crisis through discussions.

After holding the telephonic conversation with Shah, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga tweeted: "As per the telephonic discussion with Union Home Minister and Assam Chief Minister, we agreed to resolve the Mizoram-Assam Border issue amicably through meaningful dialogue.

"In the meantime, in order to prevent any possible escalation of the situation, I request the people of Mizoram to avoid posting sensitive messages and make judicious use of their social media platform," he said.

Zoramthanga's Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma also responded positively.

"Our main focus is on keeping the spirit of the North-East alive. What happened along the Assam-Mizoram border is unacceptable to the people of both states. Hon'ble CM Zoramthanga had promised to call me post his quarantine. Border disputes can only be resolved through discussion," he tweeted.

An official in Aizawl said that the Mizoram Chief Minister, maintaining the Covid-19 protocols, is now under quarantine since his return to the state capital from a meeting with Union Home Minister and Chief Ministers of other northeastern states in Meghalaya capital Shillong on July 25.

According to officials, Sunday's telephonic discussion cooled the "scorching situation" that arose following the July 26 border clash and firing that left six Assam policemen dead and around 100 security personnel and civilians of the two states injured.

Though no fresh incident has since then happened along the 164.6-km inter-state border between Assam and Mizoram, tension has been prevailing, and no "normal" movement of people and vehicles has taken place between the two northeastern states in the past one week.

The Central government has deployed eight companies of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) comprising around 800 para-military jawans led by senior officials along Assam's districts of Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj and Mizoram's Kolasib, Mamit and Aizawl districts.

A CRPF official said that they would work along the border of the two states under the advice and instructions of the Union Home Ministry.

Cachar District Superintendent of Police Ramandeep Kaur said that after the deployment of the CRPF, both the states have pulled out their state forces as per the tripartite agreement held in Delhi last week when the Union Home Secretary held a meeting with the Chief Secretaries of Assam and Mizoram.

"The situation is more or less normal along the inter-state border. However, we are closely monitoring the situation," Kaur told IANS over phone.



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