Northeast border row: Mizoram agrees to pull back forces from Assam
Assam home secretary Gyanendra Dev Tripathi said that both sides have agreed to restore peace and normalcy along the border areas and efforts are underway to resume movement of trucks stranded at the border.Updated: Oct 22, 2020, 00:06 IST
Four days after violence along the inter-state border injured several people, Mizoram on Wednesday agreed to pull back its security forces from areas in Assam.
The decision was taken at a meeting of senior officials of both states on Wednesday evening with Satyendra Kumar Garg, joint secretary (in charge of northeast), Union ministry of home affairs, at the circuit house in Silchar, Assam.
“We will move back the security forces which had come down to Assam side. This should help stranded vehicles to enter Mizoram. There was no discussion on the border dispute in today’s meeting,” Mizoram home secretary Pi Lalbiaksangi told journalists after the meeting.
Garg, who reached Silchar to diffuse the tense situation along the border, said that the discussions between both states were very fruitful and Assam and Mizoram have agreed to resolve issues amicably through talks.
Assam home secretary Gyanendra Dev Tripathi said that both sides have agreed to restore peace and normalcy along the border areas and efforts are underway to resume movement of trucks stranded at the border.
The areas along the border between two states have been tense since Saturday after some residents of Vairengte in Kolasib district of Mizoram set on fire temporary huts made by residents of Lailapur in Cachar district of Assam on a stretch of disputed land.
Mizoram says the huts were built on ‘no man’s land’ while Assam claims the area as theirs.
Following the incident, residents on the Assam side have blocked the highway going to Mizoram and hundreds of goods-laden trucks on way to the neighbouring state are stranded.
Earlier on Wednesday, a home secretary-level meeting between both states was held at an army camp close to Lailapur along the inter-state boundary and it was attended by senior police and district officials.
As part of confidence building measures, both sides agreed to hold interactions among deputy commissioners, superintendents of police and divisional forest officers of border districts once a month.
Mizoram home secretary Lalbiaksangi requested Assam officials to ensure movement of stranded trucks while Tripathi requested the Mizoram side to take action against miscreants who burnt down huts on the Assam side on Saturday and also ensure there is no encroachment of reserve forests.
“We are for people to people contact and keeping every mode of communication open so that the camaraderie and bonhomie that exist between people of both neighbouring states prevail,” said Tripathi.
Talking to journalists after the meeting, Lalbiaksangi assured that the Mizoram government will provide security to trucks coming from the Assam side.
“Our priority is to maintain peace and ensure movement of the stranded trucks. The other issues including the border row can be discussed later,” Assam Police’s Special DGP (Border) Mukesh Agarwal told journalists.
Assam and Mizoram share a 164.6 km long boundary. Mizoram was part of Assam till 1972, when it became a union territory. It became a state in 1987. There have been minor skirmishes in the past with Mizoram seeking delineation of the border on the basis of East Bengal Frontier Regulation of 1873.