‘Will Take All Measures for Peace’: Assam-Mizoram Joint Statement on Border Row
Assam also revoked the travel advisory issued earlier, which directed its citizens to abstain from visiting Mizoram.
A joint statement issued by Assam and Mizoram on Thursday, 4 August, stated that the governments of the two feuding states have agreed to take all necessary measures to promote, preserve and maintain peace and harmony. Following a meeting between the two states, Assam also revoked the travel advisory issued by the state earlier, which directed its citizens to abstain from visiting Mizoram, due to safety concerns.
The Assam government in an order, subsequently shared by news agency ANI, said:
"In view of the joint statement issued today by the representatives of the Governments of Assam and Mizoram, the travel advisory (advising people of Assam not to travel to Mizoram) dated 29 July is hereby withdrawn."
Responding to the revocation, Chief Minister of Mizoram Zoramthanga tweeted his thanks to the Assam government.
Assam-Mizoram Govt Reps Meet
Assam Ministers Atul Bora and Ashok Singhal on Thursday had met with representatives of Mizoram in the capital city of Aizawl, in order to discuss the ongoing border conflict between the two states.
"Representatives of Governments of Assam and Mizoram agree to take all necessary measures to promote, preserve and maintain peace and harmony amongst the people living in Assam and Mizoram, particularly in the border areas," a joint statement released by the states post their meeting said.
The representatives of Assam and Mizoram in the delegation meet decided that neutral forces will be deployed in the area of conflict, news agency ANI reported.
Assam Minister Ashok Singhal stated that the Deputy commissioners of districts bordering Assam and Mizoram will hold monthly meet to resolve issues at district level.
The Mizoram government also condoled the deaths of six Assam police personnel and wished the injured a speedy recovery.
Assam Minister Ashok Singhal had, earlier in the day, tweeted: "With great optimism from both sides, we held our discussion with the Home Minister of Mizoram @Lalchamliana12 Ji & other officials on resolving the #AssamMizoramBorder issue."
What The Joint Statement Said
"The Governments of Mizoram welcome and agree to take forward the initiatives taken by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India and Hon'ble Chief Ministers of Assam and Mizoram to remove the tensions prevailing around the inter-state borders and find lasting solutions to the dispute through the discussions.
The states have agreed to maintain peace in the areas surrounding the border, and have welcome the Centre's decision to deploy neutral paramilitary forces in the region," the statement said.
In order to ensure harmony, "both the States shall not send their respective Forest and Police forces for patrolling, domination, enforcement or for fresh deployment to any of the areas where confrontation or conflict has taken place between the Police forces of the two states in recent times."
This would include the border-lining areas of Karimganj, Hailakandi and Cachar in Assam, and Mamit and Kolasib districts of Mizoram.
The representatives from the government of Mizoram also conveyed their condolences for the loss of lives in the clash between the two states on 26 July, and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.
Why Was the Meeting Held?
Amid the ongoing tussle between Assam and Mizoram over their inter-state boundary, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga had taken to Twitter to announce that representatives from both the governments will meet on Thursday to work towards a solution for the matter.
The meeting in Aizawl was attended by Minister for the Assam Department of Housing & Urban Affairs and Irrigation Ashok Singhal as well as the state's Minister of Agriculture Atul Bora.
"We're hopeful (of interaction). Assam wants to keep spirit of unity and brotherhood among North-eastern people," Bora told news agency ANI on Thursday, ahead of the meeting.
"Assam & Mizoram have been closely bonded with mutual understandings & brotherhood. We will definitely reach the solution on border issues through dialogues," Assam Minister Singhal tweeted, ahead of the meeting.
"Hopeful that the issue will be resolved permanently through meaningful dialogues between both the govts," he stated.
Mizoram Home Minister Lalchamliana, Land Revenue and Settlement Minister Lalruatkima, as well as Home Department Secretary Vanlalnghaka were also in attendance at the meeting.
"Tomorrow (5 August) representatives from #Assam government led by senior minister will meet representatives of #Mizoram government led by senior minister. I am sure important steps will be achieved for the solution of the border problem," Mizoram CM Zoramthanga had tweeted on Wednesday.
The meeting between the states' representatives comes after a long-drawn feud between Assam and Mizoram over their boundary, which reached its zenith on 26 July, when five Assamese police officials were reportedly killed in a firing incident around the border.
What Has Been Happening Since 26 July?
Five policemen have been reported dead and over 50 members of the police force injured in the violent clashes that erupted around the Assam-Mizoram border on Monday, 26 July, a press release issued by the Assam government said.
In the wake of the 26 July clashes, the Assam Police had issued summons to Mizoram MP K Vanlalvena and six other state officials for their alleged role in the violence.
An FIR had also reportedly been registered against Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and six top state officials by the Mizoram police on 26 July, on charges of attempt to murder and assault. Around 200 unidentified police personnel, too, had been booked in the case.
Both state governments have put out their own explanations for the violence that broke out. The violence occurred just two days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah declared the Centre’s resolve to end disputes in the northeast.
In a reconciliatory gesture, Mizoram CM Zoramthanga on Monday, 2 August, said that he had directed the state's police to withdraw the FIRs dated 26 July, filed at Vairengte in Kolasib district, against all the accused persons in connection with the Assam-Mizoram border clash.
Soon after Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted that he "heartily reciprocate(s) this positive gesture."
(With inputs from ANI)
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