• Assam-Mizoram Border Dispute: A Faulty Border History Stretching since the last 150 years

    Assam-Mizoram Border Dispute: A Faulty Border History Stretching since the last 150 years

    There has been a blown-up dispute in the borders of the North-eastern state of Assam and Mizoram, the clash has triggered so much that 6 Assam policemen have been killed and more than 50 policemen of both sides have been injured pathetically on Monday.

    The Assam-Mizoram Border dispute is an old issue that is 146 years old. In 1875, Mizoram was a part of Assam and a part of it was known as Lushai hills which till this date continue to face the brunt of the faulty border dispute. As at that time India was under British colonial rule, the demarcation of the state was called the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation of 1873, which was defined as the inner line permit system. People of different tribes lived in this area, after independence on the basis of language, culture, and identity, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh became a separate state from Assam. But disputes were still on even after independence as Mizoram wanted its border with Assam to be separated according to the 1875 agreement. The government of Mizoram claims that many districts of the Mizo-speaking community have become a part of Assam which should have been a part of Mizoram due to the post-independence boundary demarcation.  In 1987, Mizoram was carved out as an independent state of India, it was separated on the basis of history and the cultural identity of people living in this unit.

    A Mizoram Minister had told last year that Mizoram believes the boundary between the two states should be demarcated on the basis of the 1875 notification. All the Mizo leaders have argued in the past against the demarcation which was notified in 1933 because Mizo society was not consulted. Mizoram believes that the Assam government follows the 1933 demarcation, and that is the main point of conflict. In 1993, Mizoram insisted on making the state on the basis for delineating the boundaries of Assam. Based on the 1873-regulation, Mizoram claims a 1,318 sq. km area of the inner-line reserve forest notified 148 years ago. Assam is not willing to give up any of its territories.

    After several attempts in 1993, 1995, no solution has been made about this border dispute, because of which the supreme court suggested that the central government from a boundary commission resolve the dispute between the two states.

    “According to an agreement between governments of Assam and Mizoram some years ago, status quo should be maintained in no man’s land in the border area. However, people from Lailapur broke the status quo and allegedly constructed some temporary huts. People from Mizoram side went and set fire on them” Kolasib Deputy Commissioner H Lalthangliana had said DIPR, Mizoram.

    The ongoing tension between the border area again originated in June, Mizoram accused Assam of taking upon its land in Kolasib (border area). Assam, in turn, accuses Mizoram of building structure and making a plantation of betel nut and banana sapling. Mizoram is carrying out this process in one of Assam’s border Hailakandi.

    The Assam Police was reported to take control of an area about five kilometers from the Kolasib district of Mizoram. Mizoram people and officials have forced the Assam officials to return back to their area because of which tension arise in both the states.

    On July 25, eight farm huts of Mizo farmers were burned down and 6 Assam police officials have been shot dead and more than 50 are injured in the clash between the two states.