In an unexpected series of events, violent clashes broke out between the police forces of Assam and Mizoram at the disputed state border. It led to the death of at least 5 Assamese police officers and left more than 60 officers including an SP injured.
The conflict between the states arose merely 48 hours after India’s Home Minister Amit Shah held a closed-door meeting with the chief ministers, chief secretaries, and police chiefs of eight northeastern states and highlighted the need to resolve lingering border disputes.
The long-standing land dispute be Assam and Mizoram is along the 164-km border between Assam’s Barak Valley districts of Cachar, Karimganj, Hailakandi and Mizoram’s three districts of Aizawl, Kolasib, and Mamit finds its roots in the year 1875 when the southern boundary of Cachar district was issued in the Assam Gazette. Mizos claim that this was the fifth time the British had drawn the boundary between the Lushai Hills and the Cachar plains, and the only time when it was done in consultation with Mizo chiefs.
The British brought the issue again in 1933 when the boundary between Lushai Hills and the then newly formed princely state of Manipur was demarcated. it said the Manipur boundary began from the trijunction of Lushai Hills, Cachar district of Assam and Manipur state. The Mizos reject this demarcation as it wasn’t done in consultation with their chiefs and still regards the 1875 line as the border.
It is not the first time violent clashes have erupted at the states’ borders. Back in October 2020 two incidents of violence occurred in the region over the period of one week, at that time residents of Lailapur village in Assam’s Cachar district clashed with residents of localities near Vairengte in Mizoram’s Kolasib district. Days before this clash, on October 9, similar violence had taken place on the border of Karimganj (Assam) and Mamit (Mizoram) districts. On October 9, a farm hut and a betel nut plantation belonging to two Mizoram residents were set on fire.
Now, after the recent clashes, the CMs of both states tweeted to the Home Minister Amit Shah and requested him to intervene and solve the issue.
Amit Shah has since then intervened and asked both Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sharma and his Mizoram counterpart Zoramthanga to ensure peace along the disputed border by finding an amicable settlement.