The border dispute between Assam and Mizoram showed no signs of easing even after the Centre’s intervention as blockade at the boundary between the two states continued for the fourth day.
Mizoram was cut off from essential supplies as its life, the NH 306, continues to be blocked by people in Assam’s Chachar district, who are not allowing vehicles to enter the neighbouring state.
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Mizoram has deployed security forces at the border who are building trenches and bunkers. In response, Assam has also built new border outposts.
Both Assam and Mizoram claim some portions of border areas as their own. The region has seen skirmishes between locals from both sides who accuse each other of encroaching into their area.
The current deadlock started on October 19, but became serious on October 17 when people from both sides clashed with each other and burnt shops and house, leaving many injured.
The Centre intervened and brokered peace between the two sides on October 21. However, tensions again started about a week after the talks.
Locals in Chachar have been blocking highway traffic demanding that Mizoram remove security forces from the border areas. On Friday, Mizoram home minister Lalchamliana ruled out withdrawing the forces till “normalcy” returned. He said the locals at Lailapur in Cachar district blocking the NH 306 that leads to Bairabi village in Mizoram are being instigated by Assam officials.
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All the essential supplies, including food grains and transport fuel, to Mizoram are transported through this highway. Officials in the Mizoram government said they are trying to work out alternative route through Manipur to ensure supply of the essentials.
Mizoram has said it recognises the border between the two states as demarcated in 1875 under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR) of 1873.