Amit Shah speaks to Assam, Mizoram CMs in bid to defuse border row

During the phone call, it was decided to resolve the border issue amicably through meaningful dialogue

Northeast, Assam, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura
Both Assam and Mizoram claim some portions of border areas as their own. | Image - Eunice Dhivya

Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Mizoram CM Zoramthanga over the phone on Sunday to defuse the border tension between the two Northeastern states.

During the phone call, it was decided to resolve the border issue amicably through meaningful dialogue, Zoramthanga said.

“As per telephonic discussion with home minister and Assam chief minister, we agreed to resolve the Mizoram-Assam border issue amicably through meaningful dialogue,” he tweeted.

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Zoramthanga also urged the people of Mizoram to refrain from posting provocative messages or misusing social media in order to de-escalate the ongoing tension.

“In the meantime, in order to prevent any possible escalation of the situation, I request the people of Mizoram to avoid posting sensitive messages and make judicious use of social media platform,” he said.

Explained: Assam and Mizoram’s 100-year-old border spat

A violent clash that took place near Vairengte town in Mizoram’s Kolasib district on July 26 left at least seven people from Assam, including six police personnel, dead. The clash came two days after Amit Shah personally went to the Northeast to hold talks with the state’s leaders.

Addressing the dispute, Sarma said he will approach the Supreme Court to resolve the issue but will not allow his officers to be investigated. “I’m happy if filing an FIR against me resolves the issue, I’ll go and appear before any police station. But I will not allow our officers to be investigated,” he told ANI.

The clash was “unacceptable”, Sarma said, adding Zoramthanga had promised to call him after exiting quarantine. “Border disputes can only be resolved through discussion,” he said.

Also read: Mizoram feels the pinch after Assam blocks COVID essentials, fuel trucks

In a Twitter post Sarma, who has been charged with criminal conspiracy and attempt to murder in an FIR by Mizoram Police, also spoke of keeping alive the spirit of the Northeast. The tweet came after Amit Shah’s phone call earlier in the day

‘Lame Excuses’

Meanwhile, Zoramthanga has accused the Assam government of making “lame excuses” by claiming illegal drugs trafficking and cattle smuggling as the reason behind imposing a blockade against Mizoram.

“The Assam government is making lame excuse, claiming illegal, drugs trafficking and cattle smuggling. Their logic does not hold water,” he told India Today TV.

“This should not become another Berlin. We expect the central government to intervene on the blockade issue,” Zoramthanga said.

Also read: Three more states accuse ‘big brother’ Assam of bullying tactics

Referring to the July 26 incident, the CM claimed that the Assam Police had lathi-charged and used tear gas at locals from Mizoram who came to protest against them. He also said that an SP of Mizoram Police barely escaped from the firing coming from the Assam side.

“In the meeting with Union home minister on July 24, we resolved that the issue must be settled amicably and all chief ministers agreed to this. On July 26, over 200 armed policemen of Assam captured Mizoram Police outpost,” Zoramthanga said.

“It [a clash] is inevitable if one police try to capture outpost of another force. Every man knows this.”

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