AIZAWL: In a renewed effort to address the long-standing border dispute with Assam, Mizoram’s Home Minister, Lalchamliana, on Wednesday, revealed that the government had submitted comprehensive claims regarding the state’s boundary and related matters to Assam in February.
Lalchamliana told the state assembly that Mizoram, as per the prescribed timeline, dispatched its comprehensive territorial claim to Assam on February 13 and has formally communicated with the Assam government, seeking clarifications, but awaits a response.
In response to an inquiry by ruling MNF MLA Vanlaltanpuia, the minister divulged that Mizoram had augmented its border security infrastructure after the turmoil in July 2021, establishing both permanent and temporary outposts along the state’s periphery shared with Assam.
The contentious boundary issue between the two states revolves around the regions shared by three Mizoram districts—Aizawl, Kolasib, and Mamit—with Assam, encompassing a 164.6-km stretch. Following a border clash in July 2021, the two neighbouring states have engaged in continuous dialogues aimed at finding a sustainable solution to the complex problem.
In a pivotal meeting held in Guwahati in November 2022, both sides agreed that Mizoram would compile a detailed list of villages, including their geographical areas, spatial parameters, demographic compositions, and other pertinent information within a span of three months. The quest for a resolution has seen three rounds of official talks between Mizoram and Assam thus far. Additionally, three minister-level virtual meetings and multiple district administration-level discussions have been convened to address the multifaceted border dispute.
Previous declarations by Lalchamliana underlined that Mizoram’s claim encompasses at least 62 villages within the contested region. Notably, these villages fall within the demarcation of the inner line reserved forest, governed by the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR) of 1875.
The crux of the disagreement lies in Mizoram’s claims that an expanse of 509 square miles within the inner line reserved forest, delineated by the BEFR, constitutes its rightful boundary. Conversely, Assam adheres to the constitutional boundary delineated by the 1933 map prepared by the Survey of India.
The border friction escalated into violence on July 26, 2021, culminating in a fatal exchange of gunfire between police personnel from both states. The tragic event resulted in the loss of six policemen and a civilian from Assam, with over 60 individuals sustaining injuries in the intense clash.