The Union Home Ministry on Tuesday appointed a team to find cause of border dispute between Assam and Mizoram in the context of recent incidents earlier this month.
The team, comprising Home Ministry’s Joint Secretary, North-East, Satyendra Garg and Principal, Secretaries, Home of both Mizoram and Assam, will visit the area within a week and submit its report to the Home Ministry.
The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba here in the presence of Assam and Mizoram’s Chief Secretaries T.Y. Das and Arvind Ray respectively.
According to a Home Ministry statement, the team will be assisted by officials of Survey of India in its work.
“The team will submit its findings to the Union Home Secretary which will be discussed in a follow up meeting with the Chief Secretaries of the two states. Thereafter, a meeting will be convened by the Union Home Minister with the Chief Ministers of Assam and Mizoram,” it said.
The Chief Secretaries of both the stats shared the position of their governments on the issue of construction of a shed at Kachurtal near Bairabi in the meeting.
It was decided in the meeting to maintain “status quo” at the spot and both state governments reiterated their commitment to take all measures to maintain peace and resolve the issues amicably, it said.
Both the governments assured the Union Home Secretary that they will not allow “assembly of people at the site”.
The meeting was the outcome of a letter written by Mizoram Chief Minister Pu Lal Thanhawla to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on March 12 seeking his intervention in the dispute.
The dispute between the two states started on February 27-28 when Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), a Mizo international student body, was constructing a rest house at the disputed site at Bairabi, a reserved forest area, between Assam’s Hailakandi in Assam and Mizoram’s Kolasib district.
The clashes then occurred on March 8 and 10 when a journalist was beaten up and a Mizo student injured in firing on a group by the Assam Police at Zopui, according to Mizoram. Assam Police however denied the charge and claimed that the protesters were only pushed back when they tried to intrude into their state.
Assam claims the area as its own, said a Home Ministry official, adding Assam and Mizoram have a long-standing boundary dispute, and there had been tension in the Hailakandi-Kolasib region several times in the past too.