Assam and Mizoram are locked in a tussle over the common boundary for several decades now. The recent flare-up has made it worse.
Boundary clash unrelated to drug trafficking: Mizoram HM
Mizoram home minister Lalchamliana on Saturday said that the recent boundary clash with Assam was not related to drug trafficking or cattle trade and denied the involvement of 'non-state actors' in the case.
He said the clash was an "unavoidable countermeasure" to protect the territorial integrity and ancestral land of the Mizos, which was threatened several times over decades by "aggression and encroachment from Assam".
"Drug trafficking and cattle trade have nothing to do with the boundary clash, and non-state actors weren't involved in the incident. How can a responsible government be hand-in-glove with or be influenced by non-state actors?" the home minister said.
Assam CM calls on governor, discusses border issue
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma called on governor Jagdish Mukhi on Saturday and discussed various issues, including the border situation between the state and Mizoram and the functioning of state universities.
FIR against CM Sarma, officers summoned
The Assam chief minister has also questioned the rationale behind the Mizoram government registering an FIR against him and six state officials over the recent border clash when its place of occurrence is within his state's "constitutional territory".
Sarma has also raised concerns with his Mizoram counterpart Zoramthanga as to why the FIR against him is not being probed by a “neutral agency”.
will be very happy to join in any investigation. But why the case is not being handed over to a neutral agency, esp… https://t.co/R9uHPbd75S— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) 1627718288000
Criminal cases have been filed against Sarma, four senior officers of the state police and two more officials over the violent clash that took place on the outskirts of Vairengte town in Mizoram's Kolasib district.
They have been booked under various charges, including attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy. Besides, cases were also registered against 200 unidentified Assam Police personnel.
The four police officers and the two administrative officials have been summoned for questioning on Sunday. The Assam police have also summoned six Mizoram government officers, to appear at the Dholai police station on Monday, officials said.
The chief minister, however, on Saturday said that he is ready to join any probe on the issue.
MHA is in talks with Assam, Mizoram
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is in regular talks with Assam and Mizoram administrations over the situation amid the continued border row between the two northeast states, officials said on Saturday.
Admitting that the situation is tense but under control, MHA officials said the CRPF battalions patrolling the area along NH-306 between the two states is in full strength to prevent any further clash between the state polices.
The ministry, however, refused to comment over the issue of cross FIRs by the states in the matter.
Two states signed a pact
Amid the hostile situation on its southern front on the border with Mizoram, Assam on Saturday signed an agreement with Nagaland to diffuse the stand-off on the eastern front by withdrawing each other’s police force. They two sides agreed to deploy UAVs and use satellite imageries to keep a watch on the disputed boundary.
The meeting between Nagaland chief secretary J Alam and his Assam counterpart Jishnu Barua was held at Dimapur in Nagaland, where both states agreed to withdraw their respective police forces from border locations to their respective base camps, within 24 hours.
The agreement was signed by the two chief secretaries in presence of Nagaland deputy chief minister Y Patton and Assam education minister Ranoj Pegu.
In a major breakthrough towards de-escalating tensions at Assam-Nagaland border, the two Chief Secretaries have arr… https://t.co/BEUB0xOKZL— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) 1627724659000
“Nagaland and Assam shall monitor the area by surveillance using UAV and satellite imagery with a view to maintaining the status quo. The Superintendents of Police of the districts of Mokokchung (Nagaland) and Jorhat (Assam) shall ensure orderly withdrawal of their respective forces and shall be responsible for it in the instant case,” the minute of the meeting states.
'Northeast India will always be one'
Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga has, meanwhile, said that Northeast India will always be one, amid the deadly violence witnessed at his state's border with Assam.
Zoramthanga also shared on Twitter a notification issued by his government, stating that there will be no restrictions on the movement of non-residents of Mizoram in Kolasib district, which borders Assam's Cachar district.
Public Notice to all.#NorthEast India will always be #One @prag_newsAssam @DGPAssamPolice @BarakBulletin… https://t.co/p7kmXLaA5f— Zoramthanga (@ZoramthangaCM) 1627632677000
"#NorthEast India will always be #One," the chief minister tweeted.
Police posts being set up at borders
Amid such tensions, Cachar Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli said that the police are setting up posts at border sites to secure the area, highlighting that the security of people is of utmost importance. The Deputy Commissioner said the Mizoram police has crossed the border, entered the forest area and set up camps there.
(With inputs from agencies)