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Assam, Mizoram to resolve border row 'amicably' after deadly clash

  • Published at 03:24 pm August 2nd, 2021
Assam Border Clash
Assam deployed 4,000 commandos to guard its border with Mizoram after six police officers were killed in a gunbattle between the feuding neighbours NDTV Twitter

Last Monday clashes on the demarcation between Assam and Mizoram left six police officers dead

Two states in India's north-east have agreed to resolve their differences peacefully after their long-running border dispute erupted into deadly violence last week.

Last Monday clashes on the demarcation between Assam and Mizoram left six police officers dead in a major embarrassment for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.

The two regions' chief ministers tweeted on Sunday that they would now seek an "amicable" approach to the dispute.


Also Read: Is Assam-Mizoram conflict rare in Northeastern India?


Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga urged locals to stop posting "sensitive messages" on social media while his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma highlighted the "spirit of the north-east."

"What happened along the Assam-Mizoram border is unacceptable to the people of both states... Border disputes can only be resolved through discussion," Sarma tweeted.

The six Assam policemen were shot dead in the clashes that also left 60 people injured. Both states have blamed each other for the violence which erupted after Mizoram alleged Assam had encroached on its territory.


Also Read: Six police killed in Assam-Mizoram border clash


Assam in turn accused Mizoram villagers of encroaching instead on reserve forest land. Sarma belongs to Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) while Zoramthanga, who uses only one name, heads the Mizo National Front -- an ally of the ruling BJP alliance.

Mizoram was part of Assam till 1972 and became a state in its own right in 1987. The border argument has been going on since then with sporadic violence.

Indian media on Monday said the government might rely on satellite mapping to define the boundaries to help settle the dispute and others in the region.

Medical supplies disrupted

Movement of essential medical supplies into a small northeastern Indian state reeling under a wave of Covid-19 infections has been disrupted days after deadly clashes on its border with neighbouring Assam state, officials said on Monday.

Mizoram government officials and representatives of a trade association said that the entry of medical supplies, including testing kits, Remdesivir and other drugs used to treat Covid-19 patients, from Assam had since been severely disrupted.

Assam is the region's largest state and contains the main logistics hubs that service several other northeastern states, including Mizoram.

"During this pandemic, medicines for Covid-19 are the most essential item," Mizoram's Home Secretary Vanlalngaihsaka, who uses only one name, told Reuters by telephone.

A landlocked mountainous state of around 1.1 million people, Mizoram recorded its highest ever daily spike in COVID-19 cases late last month with 1,369 infections.

In a Facebook post late on Sunday, Mizoram Health Minister R. Lalthangliana said Covid-19 test kits and medicines were being blocked in Assam, a charge that the neighbouring state's government has denied.

"We have only issued a travel advisory asking people from Assam to be on their guard while travelling to Mizoram in view of the killing of six of our policemen," Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told Reuters.

"But there is no economic blockade from our side."

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