Even as the fact-finding report of the three-member high-level team of Ministry of Home Affairs on the Assam-Mizoram border issue is awaited, the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), Mizoram’s apex students’ body, has submitted a memorandum to the prime minister on Tuesday. The MZP reasserted that the boundary line demarcated in 1875 under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation of 1873 during the British rule should be recognised as the only boundary between Assam and Mizoram as accepted by the government and the people of Mizoram.
“The boundary line established during the British rule in 1875 under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation of 1873 is accepted as the international boundary between the British and Lushai territory (Mizoram). The 46 boundary pillars erected in the border to demarcate the territory/boundary of Mizoram and Cachar (Assam) during the British rule is still considered as the Inner Line; besides this Inner Line there is no proper border stone to demarcate Mizoram-Assam border. Thus, the Mizo people want to go back to the original boundary marked in 1875,” the memorandum stated.
The MZP further claimed that the residents of Hailakandi district in Assam where the disputed area lies are mostly illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. “It can be proved from the report made by the National Register of Citizens (Prime Minister Vision Report),” MZP said.
The border area, between Kolasib in Mizoram and Hailakandi in Assam, witnessed trouble recently. At least 49 people were injured in a clash with Assam police who baton charged Mizo students for trying to construct a wooden resting shed on a piece of land they claimed was donated by former Mizoram chief minister Ch. Chhunga’s in Kolasib district.
The MZP asserted that the area where it planned to construct a rest shed that triggered fresh tensions in March, is “well within Mizoram.” It claimed that the plot of land belongs to the first chief minister of Mizoram, late Ch Chhunga’s wife.
The three-member fact finding team is scheduled to submit its report to the Union home secretary on April 5, that will be discussed in a follow up meeting with the chief secretaries of the two states. The two states of Assam and Mizoram have a long-standing boundary dispute, and several times in the past tension has flared up in the Hailakandi-Kolasib region.