Assam, Mizoram CMs seek Amit Shah's help to resolve worsening border crisis

Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga and his counterpart from Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma had a heated exchange of words over the border dispute.
A video grab of a border clash from a tweet shared by Mizoram CM Zoramthanga.
A video grab of a border clash from a tweet shared by Mizoram CM Zoramthanga.
Published on Jul 26, 2021 04:23 PM IST
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By | Written by Sohini Goswami

Amid a worsening border tension with Assam, a war of words ensued between Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga and his counterpart from the neighbouring state Himanta Biswa Sarma as the former urged Home Minister Amit Shah to look into the matter and bring an immediate end to the crisis. Shah was on a two-day visit to Meghalaya during the weekend where he held a closed-door meeting with chief ministers of the northeast states.

A clipping shared by Zoramthanga on Twitter showed police trying to stop a clash among men armed with sticks. In reply to the tweet, Assam Police said miscreants from Mizoram were indulging in stone-pelting and attacking Assam government officials stationed at Lailapur to protect Assam's land from encroachment.

In reply, Sarma shared a clipping and said a superintendent of police from Mizoram was asking Assam’s officials to withdraw from their post, failing which civilians from the neighbouring state would not stop the violence. He too sought immediate intervention of Shah and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). “How can we run government in such circumstances?” Sarma wrote.

Soon after, Zoramthanga wrote to Sarma, "After a cordial meeting of CMs (chaired) by Shah, two companies of Assam Police with civilians lathicharged and tear gassed civilians at Vairengte Auto Rickshaw stand inside Mizoram today. They even overrun CRPF personnel/Mizoram Police."

Zoramthanga shared another video with which he wrote that an innocent couple were “manhandled and ransacked by thugs and goons” on their way back to Mizoram via Cachar in Assam. “How are you going to justify these violent acts?” he wrote.

On Saturday, Zoramthanga said border disputes in the northeast are a legacy of the colonial era and lasting peace between states is important for further development of the region.

Speaking on the border dispute with Assam at the CM’s meeting, chaired by Shah in Shillong on Saturday, Zoramthanga said the area claimed by the latter has been used by people from Mizoram for over 100 years.

"The border disputes are a legacy of the colonial era that the present government inherited from its predecessor which has been left unresolved at the time of the formation of states like Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram," he said.

"The large tract of areas claimed by Assam to be within its constitutional boundary has been used for collection of forest producers and for shifting and settled cultivation for the past 100 plus years by the people of Mizoram, and that Assam started claiming these areas only fairly recently due to population pressure apparently caused by the large-scale influx of migrants from outside Barak valley," he said.

Zoramthanga further requested the Assam government to respect and honour the situation on the ground and desist from disturbing the peaceful environment.

He also called upon them to withdraw their armed police camping at various locations in the agriculture fields of Mizo farmers since June 29.

He said the status-quo may be maintained as of May 10, 2021, as suggested by Sarma in his telephonic discussion on June 29.

(With ANI inputs)

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021