The Assam-Mizoram border trouble flared up on Monday with at least 20 officials and civilians injured and vehicles damaged in clashes as both Chief Ministers sought Union Home Minister Amit Shah's urgent intervention.
Officials of both states, including Cachar Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli, and Superintendent of Police Nimbalkar Vaibhav Chandrakant, are camping at trouble-torn Lailapur area in Assam's Cachar district, which borders Mizoram's Kolasib, as they try to calm down the situation.
Assam officials claimed that a large number of people from Mizoram attacked them, injuring 16, six km inside the state, while Mizoram officials claimed that people from Assam damaged a vehicle in which a Mizo couple was travelling to the state. There were reports that there was some firing too but officials did not confirm it.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and his Mizoram counterpart Zoramthanga, in a series of tweets, sought to blame each other's officials for the situation, while calling on Amit Shah to urgently intervene to control the situation.
The Mizoram CM, in his tweets where he tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Shah, said: "Dear Himantaji, after cordial meeting of CMs by Hon'ble Shri Amit Shah ji, surprisingly two companies of Assam Police with civilians lathicharged & tear gassed civilians at Vairengte Auto Rickshaw stand inside Mizoram today (Monday). They even overran CRPF personnel and Mizoram Police.
Dear Himantaji, after cordial meeting of CMs by Hon’ble Shri @amitshah ji, surprisingly 2 companies of Assam Police with civilians lathicharged & tear gassed civilians at Vairengte Auto Rickshaw stand inside Mizoram today. They even overrun CRPF personnel /Mizoram Police. https://t.co/SrAdH7f7rv— Zoramthanga (@ZoramthangaCM) July 26, 2021
"Hon'ble Himanta Biswa Sarma ji, as discussed I kindly urge that Assam Police be instructed to withdraw from Vairengte for the safety of civilians."
Tagging videos of the border clashes, Zoramthanga said : "Shri Amit Shah ji. kindly look into the matter. This needs to be stopped right now.
In another tweet, he said: "Innoncent couple on their way back to Mizoram via Cachar manhandled and ransacked by thugs and goons. How are you going to justify these violent acts?"
Innoncent couple on their way back to Mizoram via Cachar manhandled and ransacked by thugs and goons.— Zoramthanga (@ZoramthangaCM) July 26, 2021
How are you going to justify these violent acts?@dccachar @cacharpolice @DGPAssamPolice pic.twitter.com/J9c20gzMZQ
Sarma, in his tweets, said : "I have just spoken to Hon'ble Chief Minister Zoramthanga ji. I have reiterated that Assam will maintain status quo and peace between the borders of our state. I have expressed my willingness to visit Aizawl and discuss these issues if need be."
"Honble Zoramthanga ji, Kolasib SP is asking us to withdraw from our post until then their civilians won't listen nor stop violence. How can we run government in such circumstances? Hope you will intervene at earliest."
He also tagged Amit Shah and the PMO in his tweets.
Honble @ZoramthangaCM ji , Kolasib ( Mizoram) SP is asking us to withdraw from our post until then their civilians won't listen nor stop violence. How can we run government in such circumstances? Hope you will intervene at earliest @AmitShah @PMOIndia pic.twitter.com/72CWWiJGf3— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) July 26, 2021
I have just spoken to Hon’ble Chief Minister @ZoramthangaCM ji.I have reiterated that Assam will maintain status quo and peace between the borders of our state. I have expressed my willingness to visit Aizawl and disscuss these issues if need be @AmitShah @PMOIndia— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) July 26, 2021
Later, in another post, he announced that six cops of Assam Police lost their lives and condolled the loss.
I am deeply pained to inform that six brave jawans of @assampolice have sacrificed their lives while defending constitutional boundary of our state at the Assam-Mizoram border.— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) July 26, 2021
My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.
Mizoram's Aizawl, Kolasib and Mamit districts abut Assam's Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi districts.
The inter-state border troubles issues were discussed when the Union Home Minister met the Chief Ministers of eight northeastern states in Shillong on Saturday. The first Chief Minister-level meeting to resolve the border troubles between Assam and Meghalaya was held on Friday in Shillong and both sides decided to solve disputes in 12 bordering locations in a phased manner.
According to Assam Police, since October last year, several inter-state border skirmishes have taken place along the 164.6 km border in which one man was killed, and over 50 people injured, besides large scale damage caused to properties, including government-run schools, shops and houses along the border.
The Assam Chief Minister, during the ongoing Assembly session, said that 1,777 hectares of land in the three districts bordering Mizoram have been encroached by Mizos. Mizoram Chief Secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo rebutted the claim, saying that the lands referring by the Assam Chief Minister had been with residents of Mizoram's border villages for over 100 years, and hence, there is no question of encroachment.
Mizoram Home Minister Lalchamliana had said earlier that the crops of Mizo farmers had been destroyed at Buarchep (in Kolasib) by the Assam Police earlier this month and demanded adequate compensation by the Assam government.
The Assam-Mizoram border troubles were tamped down last year following the intervention of the Union Home Minister, Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, top Home Ministry officials and Chief Ministers of both states and then the central paramilitary troops were deployed along the border to prevent fresh troubles after a series of clashes and blockades on National Highway 306.
But since June 29, the troubles along the borders of the two northeastern states have resumed after the two states accused each other of encroachment at Aitlang hnar near Vairengte, which borders Assam's Hailakandi district.
Tension further shot up when Assam officials reportedly destroyed some plantations at Buarchep in the Phainuam area bordering Cachar district on July 10 during eviction, even as Assam officials claimed that the people of Mizoram encroached more than six km into its territory.
Assam shares borders with six other northeastern states and has boundary disputes with four - Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya besides Mizoram. These and the disputes between the other states have led to violence, and unlawful activities, leading to deployment of Central para-military forces.