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After talks with Amit Shah, Assam-Mizoram to settle border dispute through dialogue

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: The ongoing border dispute between Mizoram and Assam will be resolved amicably through dialogue said Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga on Sunday after holding a telephonic discussion with Home Minister Amit Shah and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. He has appealed to the people of Mizoram to prevent any possible escalation of the situation.

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“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,” the Mizoram Chief Minister said on Twitter.

“Fresh negotiation has begun between the two governments to de-escalate the situation,” sources in the Mizoram government told NDTV, adding that the state government is considering to drop a case filed against the Assam chief minister.

The Centre has told both the states that their officers and forces will not be allowed to carry arms while visiting the conflict zone which is now manned by central forces, sources said.

The central government has also asked the two states to restore movement of emergency and essential supplies as part of the de-escalation plan, they said.

“Our main focus is on keeping the spirit of North-East alive,” Mr Sarma tweeted later in the day, insisting that border disputes can only be resolved through discussion.

Meanwhile, stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah are monitoring the issue closely, Union minister of state for Home Affairs and BJP leader Ajay Mishra Teni also assured that the matter shall be resolved soon.

Notably, the two eastern states have been engaged in a tense border stand-off after seven people, including six Assam Police personnel, were killed and scores injured in a clash along the Mizoram-Assam inter-state border on July 26.

Both the states have refused to honour the summons that were issued by each other following the clashes. Mizoram has named Assam Chief Minister and other top officials in its FIR over the incident.

The first information report that was filed under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, including “attempt to murder”, said Assam police personnel, acting under instructions from Mr Sarma himself, refused to have an “amicable dialogue” with the Mizoram police on the day of the incident.

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Mr Sarma, on his part, has asked why a neutral agency can’t investigate the matter.

“Will be very happy to join in any investigation. But why the case is not being handed over to a neutral agency, especially when the place of occurrence is well within the constitutional territory of Assam? Have already conveyed this to @ZoramthangaCM ji,” Mr Sarma tweeted.

The Assam government has received support from opposition parties in the ongoing stand-off. A 19-member all-party delegation of Assam assembly, headed by Speaker Biswajit Daimary, will visit Delhi to request the Centre to resolve the state’s boundary dispute with Mizoram at the earliest.

The two states have been at odds over the boundary for decades, but Monday’s clashes flared up over an alleged construction by Mizoram in the disputed 198-square-mile stretch on the inter-state border — Lailapur under Dhalai of Cachar district in southern Assam and Vairengte in Kolasib district of northern Mizoram.

The violence started after the Assam Police crossed the border and “over-ran” a police post at Kolasib and damaged vehicles on the national highway and opened fire on the state police, Mizoram said.

At least five companies – total of 500 troops – of the Central Reserve Police Force have been deployed in the violence-hit regions. While, two more companies are on standby.

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