Assam-Mizoram Border Clash: The issue remains unresolved for the past 50 years
On July 26, clashes erupted between 2-sister states of India – Mizoram and Assam. At least 5 Assam police personnel were killed and 50 others were injured in 6 hours long clashes at the Assam-Mizoram border. Assam – Mizoram clash is 50 years old & the issue is still unresolved.
Videos and stills of Indian Policemen firing at each other were quite disturbing and alarming. This incident is marked as a shame in the history of 2021 because there were uniformed Indians killing other uniformed Indians. The violence took place on a day when the chief ministers of the 2 states sparred publically on Twitter.
Dear Himantaji, after cordial meeting of CMs by Hon’ble Shri @amitshah ji, surprisingly 2 companies of Assam Police with civilians lathicharged & tear gassed civilians at Vairengte Auto Rickshaw stand inside Mizoram today. They even overrun CRPF personnel /Mizoram Police. https://t.co/SrAdH7f7rv
— Zoramthanga (@ZoramthangaCM) July 26, 2021
Both the state’s chief ministers, police chiefs, and district administration have issued statements as if Indian & Pakistan or India & China have a skirmish on LOC and challenging the ‘Akhanda of Bharat’.
Home minister Amit Shah also had to intervene to help calm the tensions between the 2 chief ministers. Shah urged the 2 sides to maintain peace.
Why did Assam and Mizoram police clash?
Assam accused Mizoram of building roads, destroying the reserve forest area in Lailapur, and setting up an armed camp.
It claims that the Assam police team was attacked by armed miscreants when they went to resolve the situation.
Assam also accused Mizoram police of supporting the mob and firing tear gas shells on the Assam police. Assam’s CM Himanta Biswa Sharma slammed Mizoram police in a tweet.
However, the Mizoram government accused Assam police personnel of ‘unprovoked aggression’.
Mizoram accuses Assam police of targeting vehicles on the highway and using batons and tear gas on locals who came to enquire. CRPF Jawans deployed along the 164.6 km border reportedly controlled the tense situation.
What is the Assam-Mizoram border clash?
Violence in the area has persisted for decades with each side participating. Residents and security forces keep on accusing the other of intrusion. There are 2 demarcations along the Assam-Mizoram border that date back to the British colonial rule. There have been disagreements on both sides over which demarcation to follow.
Digging into history, Assam-Mizoram shares 164.6 k-long borders. During the mid-19th century, the British created plantations in the Cachar plains. The expansion of these tea plantation areas led to problems with the Mizos who lived in the Lushai hills.
In August 1875, the southern boundary of the Cachar district was issued in a state-run public journal, the Assam Gazette.
The British had reportedly redrawn the boundaries for the fifth time by now, but it was the first time they consulted the Mizos. However, in 1933, a new boundary between Lushai hills and the then princely state of Manipur was demarcated. Mizos rejected this demarcation and believed in boundaries were drawn in the 1875 consultation with their chiefs.
According to the agreement of Mizoram and Assam, a state quo had to be maintained in the no man’s land in the border area. Violence erupted in the region after students’ urge to built a wooden rest house for farmers on land claimed by Assam.
In October 2020, clashes erupted twice a week over construction in Lailapur, on the land, claimed by Mizoram.
Assam has many borders disputes
Assam faces border disputes with several other states as well.
In 1960, Assam lost much of its territory to new ethnic-based states. Ever since, communal tensions, border disputes, and violence have remained a problem in Assam.
The age-long tensions between the 2 states don’t seem to reach any conclusions as to both the states threatened to lose their ethnicity and identity. But this also raised a big question over the promoters of the idea of ‘Akhand Bharat’ (Undivided India).
Meanwhile, the Union Home Secretary is going to chair a meeting with Mizoram’s Chief Secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo. We will keep you updated with the latest news on the issue.