Assam-Mizoram border disputes have constituted an everyday affair since the British colonial era. This conflict has been raging for the last couple of years due to their speculative idea of borders, which varies from their actual borders.
This article discusses the history, reasons, current scenario, and possible solution of this dispute. These particulars will help individuals in their IAS preparation, as well as crack the UPSC Prelims.
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History of Assam and Mizoram Border Dispute
- The Assam-Mizoram border dispute is rooted a century and a half back. The British drew a boundary between the Lushai Hills (presently in Mizoram) and the Cachar plains (presently in Assam) in August 1875. People of Mizoram accepted this boundary as it was drawn with the consultation of their state chiefs.
- Later, in 1933, a notification demarcated the princely state of Manipur and defined all the boundaries of northeast India. Conflicts arose when Mizoram officials denied acknowledging the notification of 1933. According to them, this division did not include any consultation of Mizoram officials.
- The Indian Government carved out Mizoram from Assam as a Union territory in 1972 and made it a state in 1987. Assam’s districts, Cachar, Hailakandi, and Karimganj, share a boundary of 164 km with Mizoram’s Aizawl, Mamit, and Kolasib districts. Both the states kept accusing each other of usurping land, from 1987 onwards.
- The first skirmish took place after 7 years of Mizoram’s formation in 1994. Regardless of countless discussions organised by the Central Government between these 2 states over their dispute, the hostility continued.
Descriptive questions based on the existing conflict between the two neighbouring countries can be asked in the UPSC Mains examination. Candidates can prepare for the same by referring to the two practise questions given below:
Reasons that Ignited Mizoram and Assam Border Dispute
Although the Assam-Mizoram border dispute commenced a century ago, several incidents stirred up bitterness along the way. It started from a disagreement over an imaginary line between these states, but continued through several skirmishes and casualties.
The primary reasons that have been sparking this dispute are as follows:
- Assam claims that Mizoram has trespassed their claimed boundary. On the other hand, Mizoram lay charges on the unilateral movement of Assam inside their territory.
- Governments of both states have appointed officials under numerous sections of the Indian Penal Code to resolve this tension. This includes Assam’s Chief Minister as well.
- On top of everything, the Assam Government advised their citizens not to travel to Mizoram. Furthermore, it asked its citizens residing in Mizoram to maintain utmost vigilance.
- Besides, Mizoram accuses Assam as being culprits for obstructing NH-306 and removing railway tracks. These, especially NH-306, are considered a lifeline of Mizoram and jamming it results in an economic blockade.
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Current Situation of Mizoram and Assam Border Dispute
The Union Government constantly kept trying to settle this disagreement by organising discussions between these 2 states. While Mizoram depends on Assam for supplies and accuses them of creating an economic blockade, Assam denies all accusations.
Therefore, India’s Home Ministry deployed CRPF as a neutral force to maintain the state of affairs and avoid further clashes. Far delayed, both states expressed a willingness to alleviate the disagreement through a peaceful resolution. The joint statement ensures that none of these states will send any forces to specific areas that have already faced disturbances.
Possible Solutions for Assam-Mizoram Border Dispute
Deploying the Central force and maintaining the state quo will not bring peace back. For a peaceful resolution of such inter-state border disputes, both Central and State governments should consider the following aspects:
- Both these states must come forward proactively to settle the dispute cordially by forming a committee. It must include civil societies and other contributors for an extensive understanding of the issue.
- The committee also must consider both the states’ local leaders and chiefs.
- Every recommendation made by this committee must be obligatory to both states.
- In addition, civilians must not interpret any mandatory decisions as a drawback. The Local Government must propagate the bright side of this resolution.
- Lastly, the Supreme Court must implement a strict deadline to resolve all the existing conflicts.
A rapid resolution of such a border dispute will enhance the livelihood, overall connectivity and employment opportunity in both states. It will help the North-East become a doorway to South-East Asia.
All the information provided in this article is essential to know about the Assam-Mizoram border dispute. Aspirants must also follow other updates on current affairs on this topic that will be helpful in the UPSC Exam.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What was the origin of the Assam-Mizoram border dispute?
The Assam and Mizoram border dispute originated from the 1933 demarcation, when British forces drew a border between Assam and the Lushai hills (presently Mizoram).
What was the last skirmish between the border of Assam and Mizoram?
Police forces from Assam and Mizoram engaged in a conflict on 26th July 2021, Monday. Both the troops fired towards each other, killing multiple police officers and injuring civilians.