Assam-Mizoram border tension eases

Vehicles start moving after 12 days of being stranded

Vehicular movement between Assam and Mizoram resumed on Monday after 12 days of blockade triggered by inter-State boundary disputes.

The easing of tension along the border followed a series of discussions between top officials of the two States and the gradual deployment of Central security forces, specifically at three flashpoints.

Assam’s Home Secretary G.D. Tripathi said there were signs that normalcy was returning to the touchy areas along the border.

“Goods-laden trucks and other vehicles have been moving across the border since yesterday [Monday]. Normalcy is returning and efforts are on to ensure regular vehicular traffic movement,” he said on Tuesday.

Trouble along the border started a month ago, snowballing into, what locals said, a war-like situation after several shops and houses were torched and some 50 people injured in mid-October clashes. Peace was restored on October 22 but people in Cachar district of Assam enforced an economic blockade again on October 28 after the Mizoram police refused to budge from some disputed areas they had allegedly occupied.

Mr. Tripathi said the Mizoram government has been thinning its police force with the Central forces gradually taking over.

“Mizoram is expected to withdraw more forces. We are hoping for a complete withdrawal soon,” he added.

Mizoram Deputy Inspector General of Police (Northern Range) Lalbiakthanga Khiangte said more than 100 vehicles stranded in Mizoram have been released. Similarly, scores of vehicles reached Mizoram from Assam since Monday.

BSF, SSB deployed

Assam and Mizoram have deployed personnel of the Sashastra Seema Bal and the Border Security Force respectively in the wake of heightened tension.

Assam and Mizoram have differed on the boundary since 1972, when the latter was carved out of the former as a Union Territory. The last incident of violence along the border was in March 2018 when members of the Mizo Students’ Union tried to reconstruct a resting shed on disputed land that the Assam police personnel had demolished.

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