Mizoram & Assam delegation to hold talks on Tuesday to solve border dispute

Aizawl, Aug 8 (PTI) Delegations of both Mizoram and Assam will sit for talks to find an amicable solution to the decades-old border dispute on Tuesday, an official of the state home department said here.

The border talks will be held at Aijal Club in Aizawl at 2:30 pm, he said.

While Mizoram delegation will be led by Home minister Lalchamliana, Border Protection and Development minister Atul Bora will head the Assam team, he said.

Lalchamliana will be accompanied by state Information and Public Relations minister Lalruatkima and top officials of the state home department, the official said.

The Assam delegation is expected to arrive in Aizawl at around 10:45 am on Tuesday and they will leave for Guwahati the next day, he said.

Bora will be accompanied by Housing and Urban minister Ashok Singhal and three officials, including state border protection and development commissioner and secretary G.D Tripathy, he said.

Both the delegations would address a press conference after the talks, the official added.

The Mizoram and Assam delegations had met in August last year to find a lasting solution to the vexed border issue after a violent clash in July last year.

The August meeting was followed by two rounds of virtual meetings.

In the virtual meeting held in early April, both teams agreed to lift the talks to a high level and Assam was entrusted to frame modalities for the next talks.

Mizoram shares a 164.6 km long inter-state boundary with Assam, which has seen flare-up several times in recent years.

The decades-old boundary dispute between Mizoram and Assam mainly stemmed from two colonial demarcations in 1875 and 1933.

While Mizoram accepted the demarcation under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BERF) notified in 1875, which covers vast stretches of area now falling under Assam, as its actual boundary, the Assam government said that the demarcations made under 1933 notification was its constitution boundary.

On July 26 last year, a violent clash took place at the disputed area near Vairengte town on the NH-306 when police forces of both states exchanged fire.

At least six policemen and a civilian from Assam had died and around 60 people injured in the clash.

Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga and his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma had met over the border issue in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi in November last year and agreed to form panels of their own involving all stakeholders to resolve the border dispute through dialogue.

Toward this end, both leaders had also agreed to have chief minister-level talks from time to time.