Assam, Mizoram hold ministerial-level meeting over border disputes

Aizawl, Aug 9 (IANS): A ministerial level meeting between Assam and Mizoram was held in Aizawl on Tuesday to evolve strategies for a lasting solution to the inter-state border disputes between the two northeastern states.

The Mizoram delegation was led by Home Minister Lalchamliana, while the Assam deputation was headed by Border Protection and Development Minister Atul Bora.

After the meeting, Bora told the media that both the states agreed to promote and maintain peace and to prevent any untoward incident along the borders, adding that the deputy commissioners of the bordering districts of Assam and Mizoram would meet at least once in two months.

A joint statement issued after the meeting said: "Both the states agreed that economic activities, including cultivation and farming, which have been practised by the people along the borders of the two states, shall not be disturbed and they would continue regardless of the administrative control presently exercised by either state at such locations, subject to forest regulations and after informing the deputy commissioners concerned."

Bora said the next meeting would be held in Guwahati in October.

At Tuesday's meeting, Mizoram Home Minister was accompanied by state's Information and Public Relations minister Lalruatkima and top officials of the state home department, while the Assam delegation also included Housing and Urban minister Ashok Singhal and three officials, including state border protection and development commissioner and secretary, G.D Tripathy.

The Mizoram and Assam delegations had met in August last year to find a permanent solution to the vexed border issues after a series of clashes in the last two years.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and his Mizoram counterpart Zoramthanga met over the border issues in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi in November last year and agreed to form committees involving all the stakeholders to resolve the border disputes through talks.

Assam has border disputes with Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya.

The worst-ever violence along the 164.6 km long Assam-Mizoram border was reported on July 26 last year, which left six Assam Police personnel dead and nearly 100 civilians and security personnel of the two neighbouring states injured.

The decades-old boundary dispute between Mizoram and Assam mainly emerged from two colonial demarcations in 1875 and 1933.

While Mizoram accepted the demarcation under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BERF) notified in 1875, which covers vast stretches of area now falling under Assam, as its actual boundary, the Assam government said that the demarcation made under the 1933 notification was its constitutional boundary.



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