AIZAWL: In a significant development, Mizoram is keen to reignite border talks with Assam to settle the longstanding dispute that has persisted for decades. The recently reconstituted boundary committee, led by Home Minister K. Sapdanga, convened to deliberate on the issue and expressed a strong desire to resume the stalled border discussions with Assam at the earliest.
The committee, assembled after the assembly polls in November last year, emphasized its commitment to resolving the border dispute and fostering peace with Assam. Home Minister Sapdanga, while chairing the committee, highlighted the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) government's dedication to safeguarding the state's boundaries and restoring tranquility, especially in the border regions.
Sapdanga stressed the need to explore mutually acceptable solutions to address the border dispute between the two states. He commended the Mizo National Front (MNF) government for its previous efforts towards finding a resolution.
The meeting saw the participation of key figures, including Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Lalthansanga, who serves as the vice-chairman of the boundary committee, State Chief Secretary Renu Sharma, Director General of Police (DGP) Anil Shukla, representatives from various parties and NGOs, as well as experts and home department officials.
Mizoram shares a 164.6 km border with Assam's Cachar, Karimganj, and Hailakandi districts across three districts—Aizawl, Kolasib, and Mamit. The border dispute, rooted in historical colonial demarcations, centers around conflicting claims over territories.
Mizoram asserts that 509 square miles of the inner line reserved forest, designated in 1875 under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR) 1873, rightfully belongs to its territory. In contrast, Assam relies on the 1933 Survey of India map as its constitutional boundary, leading to a lack of ground demarcation between the two states.
The dispute took a violent turn in July 2021 when police forces from both states exchanged gunfire at the inter-state boundary, resulting in the tragic deaths of six policemen and a civilian from Assam. Over 60 individuals sustained injuries during the clash near Mizoram’s Vairengte village.
Despite several rounds of talks and ministerial meetings, both states remain committed to maintaining peace along the boundary and resolving the dispute through diplomatic dialogue. Mizoram's renewed push for swift negotiations reflects a collective effort to bring an end to this longstanding conflict and establish lasting harmony with Assam.