Assam-Mizoram border row: Ministerial meeting agrees to maintain peace, harmony

Guwahati, Nov 17 (IANS) A ministerial-level meeting on the Assam-Mizoram border dispute was held here on Thursday with both sides agreeing to maintain peace and harmony among communities living on both sides of the border with a view to further strengthen their age-old ties.
After the ministerial level meeting at Khanapara here, a joint statement was issued saying that both sides agreed to abide by the resolutions adopted in the ministerial-level meeting held in Aizawl on August 5 last year.
In Thursday’s meeting, it was decided that Mizoram would furnish the list of villages, their areas, geo-spatial extent, ethnicity of the people and other relevant information, within three months, to support their claim which can be examined by setting up regional committees from both sides to arrive at an amicable resolution of the vexed issue.
The Assam government will extend full cooperation wherever sought, the statement said.
The Mizoram delegation, headed by state Home Minister Lalchamliana, told the meeting that there has been huge unrest among the arecanut growers in the state in view of the problems being faced in transportation of their produce to Assam and other parts of the country.
“It was decided that the issue (transportation of arecanut through Assam) would be referred to Chief Ministers of Assam and Mizoram to evolve an amicable solution. Both sides also agreed to continue a sustained zero tolerance policy against transportation of smuggled arecanut from other countries,” the statement said.
The Assam delegation was headed by Border Protection and Development Minister Atul Bora.
To defuse the tension, the Assam police last month, following the request of the Mizoram government, dismantled two huts within 24 hours after they were constructed along one of the disputed areas.
The 164.6-km inter-state border has Assam’s Cachar, Hailakandi, and Karimganj districts abutting Mizoram’s Kolasib, Mamit and Aizawl districts of Mizoram.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and his Mizoram counterpart Zoramthanga held a second Chief Minister-level meeting in Delhi on September 21, and decided to resolve the situation much like the Assam’s disputes with Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.
The worst-ever violence on the Assam-Mizoram border occurred on July 26 last year when the Assam and Mizoram Police exchanged fire in the disputed area near Vairengte village on the National Highway 306, leaving six Assam Police personnel dead and many injured.

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