GUWAHATI: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked both Assam and Mizoram governments to first restore peace along their boundaries to pave way for sorting out the disputes between them.
The MHA had a virtual meeting with the top civil and police officers of both the States on Monday to arrest further escalation of border tension between the two neighbouring States. The meeting was attended by Assam Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna and his Mizoram counterpart, besides the top police officers of both the States.
Chairing the meeting, Union Home Secretary AK Bhalla was crystal clear when he said that "restoration of peace along the boundary between the two States and hassle-free supply of essential commodities are of utmost importance so as to take measures for sorting out the disputes."
To that, the Assam side made it a point at the meeting that the Mizoram IRBn camps erected on Assam lands should be withdrawn immediately.
Talking to The Sentinel after the meeting, Kumar Sanjay Krishna said, "Today's meeting was held to defuse the prevailing tension between the two States. We've spelt out our stand in clear terms. I've been keeping in touch with my Mizoram counterpart for the past three days.
"We've told them to make the movement of essential commodities hassle free. Truckers from Assam find it difficult to enter Mizoram as 'Janata curfew' has been imposed on their side. The truckers are kept in containment zones in Mizoram when they enter the neighbouring State. This is why they (truckers) are reluctant to enter Mizoram.
"To do away with this problem, we have asked the Deputy Commissioners of the adjoining districts of both the States to hold talks and sort out this problem."
The boundary disputes erupted on Saturday evening near Vairengte village of Mizoram and its adjacent Lailapur village of Assam. Incidents of people from Mizoram encroaching upon Reserve Forest areas of Assam are quite frequent. An unpleasant situation occurred on October 9, 2020 when some Assam Police personnel were on a drive to make such an area free from encroachers. And that event prompted Mizoram IRBn personnel and other villagers enter Assam and went on a rampage, escalating the tension further. Now, Mizoram claims that the area or areas in question have been under their occupation since 1961.
When asked on this matter, Kumar Sanjay Krishna said, "The Constitutional boundary between Assam and Mizoram will have to be accepted by both the States."