BORDER CONFUSION IS CREATING BORDER CONFLICT
Northeast Today|November 2020
The long standing border dispute between Assam and Mizoram has resurfaced with the recent incidents of violence in the adjoining districts of both the states. The dispute has been recurring over decades, which is disturbing the peace of the region. The Northeastern region has faced the wrath of insurgency, infiltration, oppressed with vested political interests that has only fuelled the dispute. The locals are vouching for an end to the border issue which they claim has occurred mostly due to infiltration in the border areas. The complex territories with no proper demarcation of the border areas be it the international or inter-state boundaries often creates confusion, which led to the conflicts. Mumeninaz Zaman reports.
Mumeninaz Zaman

The Recent Uproar

The decades-old border dispute between the two states resurfaced on October 9 when Mizoram officials alleged that officials of Assam’s Karimganj district, forest departments and Assam Police set fire to a farmhouse owned by John Zolawma of Thinghlun village in Mizoram’s Mamit district along the inter-state border. Mizoram officials alleged that many plantations, including over 1,000 betel nut plants, were destroyed by Assam officials.

Following the dispute, representatives of both Mizoram and Assam resorted to streng then inter-state coordination and decided to setup police outposts along the disputed border area in order to avoid any standoff in the future.

Terming the incident as unfortunate, Mamit District deputy commissioner Lalrozama said that it could jeopardize the relationship between the two states, while his Assam counterpart Karimganj district deputy commissioner Anbamuthan MP said that the area falls under the jurisdiction of the Singla Forest Reserve in the Karimganj district, and asked them to respect their authority.

Around a week later, another scuffle took place between the residents of Lailapur village in Cachar district in Assam and residents of Vairengte in Kolasib district of Mizoram. On October 17 at least four people were injured in clashes and a few huts and small shops were set ablaze following a territorial dispute between the residents of both the states.

As per reports, the scuffle took place when a makeshift hut near Saihapui V, a village about 8 km east of Vairengte and adjacent to Karimganj district was demolished. The hut was used by local Mizo volunteers who were engaged in guarding the border area to check the movement of people in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been alleged that forest officials from Assam were not allowed to go beyond the checkpoint, which flared up the incident. Reportedly, Mizoram Police said some people from Assam pelted stones at the Mizo group, following which an enraged mob from Mizoram’s Vairengte retaliated and set on fire about 20 temporary bamboo huts and stalls built along the NH 306 by villagers of Assam’s Lailapur.

Assam Police officers, however, refuting the charges, stated that unidentified miscreants from Mizoram’s Vairengte burnt shops and huts along the National Highway-306 in Lailapur.

As violence broke out both sides has been blaming each other for the escalation, According to Mizo civil society groups, the clashes were triggered by stone pelting from Lailapur. Whereas, the Cachar district administration refuted such claims.

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