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Mizoram rejects Assam CM’s encroachment allegation

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Aizawl, July 17: Assam and Mizoram are locked in an intense face-off after the recent skirmish at the borders of the two states. Tensions are high at the inter-state border areas between the states with both the states sending in more troops to hold their position as both argue on the actual boundary of the respective state in the absence of a visible demarcation.

Skirmishes have occurred along the boundaries of two districts of Assam adjoining Mizoram – Hailakandi district and Kolasib district – in last two weeks, including three instances of bomb blasts.

On Friday, Mizoram alleged that Assam was laying claims on its territories, which the residents of its border villages have been occupying for over 100 years.

Mizoram chief secretary, Lalnunmawia Chuaungo claimed that it did not encroach even an inch of Assam’s territory as alleged by Assam Chief Minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma.

“Assam is laying claims on Mizoram’s territories, which the residents of border villages have been occupying for over 100 years. Satellite images will prove that what Assam claims to be its territories have been inhabited by the Mizos for over a century. There is no encroachment by Mizoram on Assam’s territory. It is the other way round,” Chuaungo told a news agency.

He alleged that Assam officials encroached on Mizoram’s territories under the supervision of the Assam Police and the state’s Forest Department during June-July despite the decision to maintain status quo in the disputed areas.

While Mizoram accepts the 509 sq mile stretch of the inner-line reserve forest notified in 1875 under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation of 1873 as its actual boundary, the Assam side agrees with the Constitutional map drawn in 1933, a top official of the Mizoram Home Department had earlier said.

On Monday, the Assam chief minister had said that a total of 1,777.58 hectares of land in the Barak Valley region was encroached by Mizoram.

The inter-state border disputes between the states of Northeast have been going on from a long time. Recently, North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) has urged Centre to resolve the border dispute between the Northeastern states.

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