Assam & Mizoram CMs to Hold Talks on Border Issues on Sept 19

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and his Mizoram counterpart Zoramthanga will hold discussions for the second time on Monday in New Delhi to resolve the boundary issue between the two northeastern states.

Uncertainty surrounded whether Union Home Minister Amit Shah would preside over the negotiations, according to a Mizoram official. The official, who wished to remain unnamed, stated that the chief ministers “talked over the phone on Friday and decided to meet on the border issue on September 19 [Monday] in New Delhi.”

On August 10, the chief ministers also spoke on the phone and decided to hold talks later that month or at the beginning of September. They had previously met in Shah’s presence in Delhi in November of last year and had decided to form panels with participation from all parties to settle the conflict and hold chief ministerial level discussions.

The border dispute between Mizoram and Assam, which spans 164.6 km, is a result of colonial demarcations made in 1875 and 1933. A section of a forest that had been declared a reserve was held by Mizoram. It presently belongs under Assam in part.

Assam has made claims over some territories under Mizoram’s jurisdiction and argued that the boundary as shown on the survey of India’s map from 1933 is final.

The two states convened a ministerial-level conference on August 5 of that year and decided to maintain calm along the border and resolve the problem through conversation after seven people were killed and about 60 were injured when police forces from the two states opened fire on each other in July 2021.

In addition to three virtual meetings, the two states have held two rounds of negotiations in Aizawl. On August 9, they made a deal to keep the calm and take the necessary precautions to stop any unfavourable incidents along the borders.

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