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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Assam-Mizoram border dispute Highlights: Assam blocking movement of vehicles carrying medical supplies, says Mizoram health minister

Assam-Mizoram border dispute Highlights: While Assam-Mizoram border stayed quiet, Guwahati moved in to defuse tensions with some of its northeastern neighbours like Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh to ensure tranquility along the interstate boundaries.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: August 2, 2021 8:55:57 am
Police personnel stand guard outside Mizoram House in Guwahati. (Photo: PTI)

Assam-Mizoram border dispute Highlights: Mizoram Health Minister R Lalthangliana on Sunday claim that medical supplies, including COVID-19 test kits, were being blocked from entering the state from Assam due to the imposition of blockade in the Barak Valley region following the border dispute. Assam, however, said that no organisation is currently staging any blockade in the state. Mizoram is currently battling the second Covid wave and is one of the most affected states in the country.

Addressing the Assam-Mizo border dispute, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said he will be going to the Supreme Court to resolve the issue but would not allow his officers to be investigated. “I’m happy if filing an FIR against me resolves the issue, I’ll go and appear before any police station. But I will not allow our officers to be investigated,” he told ANI.

The violent clash that took place along the Assam-Mizoram border, in which six police officers were killed and scores more were injured, was “unacceptable”  Sarma said. He added that Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga promised to call him after exiting quarantine. “Border disputes can only be resolved through discussion,” he said.

A day after they summoned each other’s officials over the July 26 border incident in which six Assam Police personnel were killed in firing and clashes, Assam and Mizoram refused to honour the summons. The deadlock is adding to tensions between the two states.

Meanwhile, officials in Mizoram on Saturday said that no vehicle has entered the state from Assam since the clash at the border despite the neighbouring state’s assertion that the “economic blockade” staged by several groups on National Highway 306 has been lifted.

While Assam-Mizoram border stayed quiet, Guwahati moved in to defuse tensions with some of its northeastern neighbours like Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh to ensure tranquility along the interstate boundaries, officials told PTI.

Live Blog

Assam, Mizoram refuse to honour summons; keep forces at the border. Follow latest updates on the Assam-Mizo conflict here:

21:05 (IST)01 Aug 2021
Assam blocking movement of vehicles carrying medical supplies, says Mizoram health minister

Mizoram Health Minister R Lalthangliana on Sunday claim that medical supplies, including COVID-19 test kits, were being blocked from entering the state from Assam due to the imposition of blockade in the Barak Valley region following the border dispute. Assam, however, said that no organisation is currently staging any blockade in the state. Mizoram is currently battling the second Covid wave and is one of the most affected states in the country.

17:10 (IST)01 Aug 2021
Centre trying peaceful solution to Assam-Mizoram dispute; no plans for CBI probe in border clashes

The Centre has no plans to order an inquiry by a neutral agency like the CBI into the recent fatal clashes along the Assam-Mizoram border but is trying to defuse the situation as early as possible in a peaceful manner. Two senior government functionaries said the Central government does not want to take any decision that may further escalate the ground situation. They said the Central government wants a peaceful resolution of the current border dispute between Assam and Mizoram and Union Home Minister Amit Shah is in regular touch with the two Chief Ministers -- Himanta Biswa Sarma (Assam) and Zoramthanga (Mizoram). Zoramthanga also tweeted, "I still hope for an amicable solution to the #AssamMizoramBorderTension from the Central Government." --PTI

17:01 (IST)01 Aug 2021
Centre trying peaceful solution to Assam-Mizoram dispute; no plans for CBI probe in border clashes

The Centre has no plans to order an inquiry by a neutral agency like the CBI into the recent fatal clashes along the Assam-Mizoram border but is trying to defuse the situation as early as possible in a peaceful manner. Two senior government functionaries said the Central government does not want to take any decision that may further escalate the ground situation. They said the Central government wants a peaceful resolution of the current border dispute between Assam and Mizoram and Union Home Minister Amit Shah is in regular touch with the two Chief Ministers -- Himanta Biswa Sarma (Assam) and Zoramthanga (Mizoram). Zoramthanga also tweeted, "I still hope for an amicable solution to the #AssamMizoramBorderTension from the Central Government." --PTI

16:20 (IST)01 Aug 2021
NE states' borders to be demarcated though satellite imaging

The Centre has decided to demarcate boundaries of the Northeastern states through satellite imaging to settle inter-state border disputes that are often becoming a cause of concern and sometimes even leading to violence. Two senior government functionaries said the task has been given to the North Eastern Space Application Centre (NESAC), a joint initiative of the Department of Space (DoS) and the North Eastern Council (NEC). The NESAC helps augment the developmental process in the Northeast region by providing advanced space technology support. The inter-state border disputes have come under fresh focus recently after five Assam Police personnel and a civilian were killed in clashes along the Assam-Mizoram border. The idea for demarcation of inter-state boundaries through satellite imaging was mooted by Union Home Minister Amit Shah a few months ago. --PTI

16:08 (IST)01 Aug 2021
Incidents at Assam-Mizoram border unacceptable, talk only solution: Himanta

Six days after a violent clash between police forces of Assam and Mizoram claimed seven lives and injured over 50 people, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday said such incidents along the inter-state border are "unacceptable" to people of both the states and advocated a resolution through talks. Assam Chief Minister Sarma, who has been charged with criminal conspiracy and attempt to murder in an FIR by Mizoram Police, also spoke of keeping alive the spirit of the North East in a twitter post. The tweet comes after Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to both Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Mizoram CM Zoramthanga telephonically earlier in the day to defuse the border tension between the two Northeastern neighbours. --PTI

15:38 (IST)01 Aug 2021
Centre must find early solution to Mizoram-Assam border dispute: Rajasthan CM

The Union government must find an early solution to the border dispute between Assam and Mizoram, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said on Sunday. "The tension between Assam and Mizoram is a matter of grave concern. For the first time in the history of the country, a state has issued a travel advisory to its residents not to travel to another state," Gehlot tweeted. He said the registration of FIR against Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and senior officials of the state government by Mizoram Police and heavy deployment of security forces at the border areas of the two states raises many serious questions. Gehlot said the BJP-led NDA government should take the people of the country into confidence on why such a situation has suddenly arisen days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah visited the region and chaired a meeting with the chief ministers of the eight northeastern states. The chief minister said the central government should find a solution soon with the cooperation of all political parties, NGOs. 

15:04 (IST)01 Aug 2021
Tension palpable at Assam-Mizoram border, central forces on vigil

Tension was palpable at the Assam-Mizoram border on Sunday as the restrictions on the movement of vehicles, including trucks carrying essential supplies, entered the sixth day, officials said. The situation in and around Lailapur, which was rocked by deadly violence, along the interstate border remained calm with a large number of CRPF troops patrolling the National Highway-306, they said. An all-party delegation, led by Assam Chief Minister's Political Secretary Jayanta Malla Baruah, visited the house of one slain Assam Police personnel and praised the valour of the force in handling the situation on Monday. --PTI

14:29 (IST)01 Aug 2021
Shah speaks to Himanta, Zoramthanga on Mizoram-Assam border tension

Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Mizoram CM Zoramthanga over the phone on Sunday to defuse the border tension between the two Northeastern states.

During the phone call, it was decided to resolve the border issue amicably through meaningful dialogue, Zoramthanga said. "As per telephonic discussion with Union Home Minister and Assam Chief Minister, we agreed to resolve the Mizoram-Assam border issue amicably through meaningful dialogue," he tweeted.

Zoramthanga also urged the people of Mizoram to refrain from posting provocative messages and misuse of social media in order to de-escalate the ongoing tension. "In the meantime, in order to prevent any possible escalation of the situation, I request the people of Mizoram to avoid posting sensitive messages and make judicious use of social media platform," he said. (PTI)

14:08 (IST)01 Aug 2021
'Happy if filing an FIR against me resolves the issue,' says Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma

Addressing the Assam-Mizo border dispute, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said he will be going to the Supreme Court to resolve the issue but would not allow his officers to be investigated. "I'm happy if filing an FIR against me resolves the issue, I'll go and appear before any police station. But I will not allow our officers to be investigated," he told ANI.

14:04 (IST)01 Aug 2021
‘What happened was unacceptable, main focus is keeping spirit of North-East alive,’ says Assam CM

The violent clash that took place along the Assam-Mizoram border, in which six police officers were killed and scores more were injured, was “unacceptable” Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said. He added that Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga promised to call him after exiting quarantine. “Border disputes can only be resolved through discussion,” he said.


09:41 (IST)01 Aug 2021
Bloodstains on a ‘maati ka tension’

Over the last week, as cavalcades of cars — with TV crews, politicians, security forces — have descended on the border town of Lailapur in Assam, Khudar Ali has looked on quietly.

The border with Mizoram, an expanse of forested slopes that begins roughly a kilometre from his home, has been a flashpoint as far as the 68-year-old, a daily wager, can remember. But July 26 felt especially disturbing. It wasn’t just that six policemen died, and scores were injured, in what was possibly the bloodiest standoff between Assam and Mizoram — or that both sides have hardened their positions since. For Ali, it brought back memories of barely a year ago, when a similar “maati ka tension (tension over land)” had led to the death of his son Intaz.

The 165-km Assam-Mizoram boundary cuts across forest hills in three districts on either side (Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi in Assam, and Mamit, Kolasib and Aizawl in Mizoram). In October 2020 too, the flashpoint began like several earlier ones. Assam alleged that Mizoram residents had built temporary huts on its land; Mizoram said the stretch was always its territory. Residents clashed, houses were burnt, schools bombed, croplands destroyed, and Intaz, a woodcutter, was killed. Read the full report here. 

09:40 (IST)01 Aug 2021
Ignore summons to each other’s officials: Assam, Mizoram keep forces at the border, no backing down

A day after they summoned each other’s officials over the July 26 border incident in which six Assam Police personnel were killed in firing and clashes, Assam and Mizoram refused to honour the summons. The deadlock is adding to tensions between the two states.

Referring to the Mizoram Police FIR which names him and six officials — it has been filed in Vairengte, the town in Kolasib district which borders Assam’s Cachar district where Assam Police too has lodged an FIR against Mizoram officials — Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told reporters Saturday: “It is childish of them (Mizoram), but the fact is that the place where the clashes happened belongs to Assam. So if a case has to be registered, the jurisdiction falls under Assam Police. But now since cases have been registered (by both states), I feel both governments should hand it over to the CBI or NIA.” Read the full report here. 

22:18 (IST)31 Jul 2021
Assam CM calls on governor, discusses border issue

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma called on Governor Jagdish Mukhi on Saturday and discussed various issues including the border situation between the state and Mizoram and the functioning of state universities. A clash between police forces of the two North-eastern states on July 26 left seven people -- six Assam police personnel and a civilian -- dead and over 50 injured at a place close to the inter-state border. The governor and the chief minister discussed measures for de-escalating tension along the border, an official release said. Sarma also informed Mukhi that the state government has disbursed cheques as one-time financial assistance to the family members of the police personnel killed in the border skirmishes. --PTI

21:37 (IST)31 Jul 2021
Boundary clash unrelated to drug trafficking, cattle trade; 'non-state actors' weren't involved: Mizoram HM

Mizoram Home Minister Lalchamliana on Saturday said that the recent boundary clash with Assam was not related to drug trafficking or cattle trade and denied the involvement of "non-state actors" in the incident. He instead asserted that the clash was an "unavoidable countermeasure" to protect the territorial integrity and ancestral land of the Mizos, which was threatened several times over decades by 'aggression and encroachment from Assam'. "Drug trafficking and cattle trade have nothing to do with the boundary clash, and non-state actors weren't involved in the incident. How can a responsible government be hand-in-glove with or be influenced by non-state actors?" the home minister told PTI. Though certain student bodies had earlier clashed with the Assam Police over the border dispute, no such organisation was involved in the recent incident, he said. --PTI

21:17 (IST)31 Jul 2021
Centre failed in handling Assam-Mizoram border dispute: Congress

The Congress Saturday claimed the Central government has failed in handling the interstate border dispute between Assam and Mizoram that led to fatal clashes earlier this week. Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said this is not a new issue and past governments have also handled it, but there has never been a conflagration like this before that central forces needed to be deployed on the interstate border. "How could it reach a stage where people are shooting guns and bullets," he told a press conference here. Had such a situation arisen in non-BJP-ruled states, the saffron party would have demanded the deployment of Army and the imposition of President's Rule, he claimed, accusing the ruling party of "double-standards". --PTI

20:18 (IST)31 Jul 2021
Assam-Mizoram border quiet, Guwahati talks peace with Nagaland, Arunachal

While Assam-Mizoram border stayed quiet, Guwahati moved in to defuse tensions with some of its northeastern neighbours like Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh to ensure tranquility along the interstate boundaries, officials told PTI. The Chief Secretaries of Assam and Nagaland on Saturday arrived at an understanding to withdraw the states’ forces from their border points.

20:18 (IST)31 Jul 2021
Mizoram claims no vehicular movement from Assam so far despite ‘lifting of blockade’

Officials in Mizoram on Saturday said that no vehicle has entered the state from Assam since the clash at the border despite the neighbouring state’s assertion that the “economic blockade” staged by several groups on National Highway 306 has been lifted.

18:36 (IST)31 Jul 2021
Himanta for neutral agency to probe border clash with Mizoram

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma Saturday questioned the rationale behind the Mizoram government registering an FIR against him and six state officials over the recent border clash when its place of occurrence is within his state's "constitutional territory". Sarma said he will be "very happy" to join the probe but wondered why is it not being handed over to a "neutral agency". The Mizoram police had lodged an FIR against Sarma and six officials under various charges including those related to attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy at Vairengte police station late on Monday after a gun fight between Mizoram and the Assam police. The FIR, however, became public on Friday. The clashes, which also involved civilians from the two northeastern states, left six Assam police personnel and a civilian dead. Responding to the development, Sarma tweeted, "Will be very happy to join in any investigation". --PTI

16:11 (IST)31 Jul 2021
Daily lives of people in Silchar affected in wake of Assam-Mizoram border clash

We're not in favor of the decision taken by the government. We make our sales in Mizoram and we have to cross the border. Its closure has led to revenue loss: Shahid Majumdar, a truck driver

15:39 (IST)31 Jul 2021
Assam, Nagaland agree to withdraw states’ forces from border points

The Chief Secretaries of Assam and Nagaland on Saturday arrived at an understanding to withdraw the states’ forces from their border points. Sharing the information, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “In a major breakthrough towards de-escalating tensions at Assam-Nagaland border, the two Chief Secretaries have arrived at an understanding to immediately withdraw states’ forces from border locations to their respective base camps.”

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma pays tribute to the Assam Police personnel who died during Monday's clashes. (Photo: PTI)

The border dispute between Assam and Mizoram has turned into a full-blown crisis when Assam summoned six officials of Mizoram’s Kolasib district and sent police after the state’s lone Rajya Sabha MP.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iOGnwqJhhM]

Mizoram retaliated by disclosing that police of Kolasib district — it borders Assam’s Cachar district and its SP is among six summoned by Assam — had lodged an FIR on July 26, the day of the incident, against Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and six officials.

The dispute started when six Assam Police personnel and a civilian were killed in violent clashes along the border of the two states. For the last month, a tense eyeball-to-eyeball situation has prevailed at the Assam-Mizoram border along the Cachar-Kolasib districts, with security personnel of both states deployed there.

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