Peace may finally prevail in the border areas of Assam and Mizoram as the representatives of two north-eastern states hold first round of talks to defuse tension that escalated after last week’s border flare-up.
About 50 people were injured and six Assam police personnel were killed in the clashes that erupted on July 26 in border areas over an old boundary dispute.
See video: Caught in the Assam-Mizoram crossfire
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma sent state Agriculture Minister Atul Bora, Irrigation Minister Ashok Singhal and secretary for Home GD Tripathi to Mizoram capital Aizawl on Thursday (August 5) to hold talks with their Mizoram counterparts. He said the ministers will visit Mizoram with a “message of peace from people of Assam”.
Both Assam and Mizoram have expressed their willingness to achieve amicable solution to the border problems and today’s meeting paved the way for settling the boundary issue through dialogue.
During the meeting, the Mizoram government regretted the death of six Assam policemen in clashes along the border. In response, the Assam government cancelled an advisory warning its residents against travel to Mizoram.
The two states issued a joint statement to announce they won’t send police personnel to places where clashes have taken place. Besides Assam ministers Atul Bora and Ashok Singhal, Mizoram Home Minister Lalchamliana, Land Revenue & Settlement Minister Lalruatkima were present when the joint statement was issued.
Also read: Border row: Assam CM asks police to withdraw case against Mizoram MP
Earlier in the day, Mizoram CM Zoramthanga responded positively to Assam’s proposal for talks. Zoramthanga tweeted: “Assam ministers Atul Bora and Ashok Singhal landed at Lengpui airport. The Assam delegates will have a meeting with representatives from (the) government of Mizoram soon at Aizawl.”
On July 26, the dispute over border escalated into a gun battle between the police personnel of two states resulting in the death of six Assam policemen. In response, the Assam government issued a travel advisory and asked people from the state not to travel to Mizoram due to the “critical prevailing situation”. It also blocked the national highway that leads to Mizoram, thus affecting supplies of essential commodities to the tiny state.