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Assam, Mizoram government to form regional committees to resolve inter-state border issue

Assam, Mizoram government to form regional committees to resolve inter-state border issue

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on September 21 said that both Assam and Mizoram governments will form regional committees to resolve the border inter-state boundary issue.

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Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma (L), Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga (R) Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma (L), Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga (R)

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on September 21 said that both Assam and Mizoram governments will form regional committees to resolve the border inter-state boundary issue.

Sarma said this after meeting his Mizoram counterpart Zoramthanga in New Delhi on Wednesday as part of efforts to resolve the border dispute between the two states.

''Today, me and my Mizoram counterpart Zoramthanga discussed various issues concerning both the states. We are in the process of forming regional committees to discuss the border problem and resolve the inter-state boundary issue,'' he added.

Three districts of Mizoram -- Aizawl, Kolasib, and Mamit -- share a 164.6-km-long border with three districts of Assam-- Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj.

The two neighbouring states' long-running border dispute is the result of two colonial demarcations, in 1875 and 1933.

Mizoram holds that a 509 square mile stretch of inner line reserved forest notified in 1875 under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR) 1873, a certain section of which now falls in Assam, is the actual boundary of the state.

Assam, on the other hand, claims that the boundary as per a survey of India's map in 1933 is the constitutional boundary of the state. Certain areas, which are now in Mizoram, fall under the 1933 demarcation.

It is to be mentioned here that on July 26, 2021, a gunfight between the police forces of Mizoram and Assam became ugly, resulting in the deaths of seven persons, including six Assamese police officers, and leaving 60 others injured.

Following the violent clash, the delegates of the two governments met on August 5 of last year at the ministerial level and decided to keep the peace along the international border and settle the disagreement through negotiation.

The delegations have already held three virtual meetings in addition to two rounds of negotiations in Aizawl. Both delegations resolved to keep the peace and take the necessary precautions to avoid any unfavourable incidents near the border during their most recent meeting.

The Mizoram State Boundary Committee unanimously adopted an "Approach Paper" earlier this month, which would be presented as the government's position on the boundary during the ensuing round of negotiations.