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Mizoram postpone border talks due to President's visit

Aizawl, Oct 28 (PTI) : The Mizoram government has proposed postponement of the border talks with Assam slated for November 4 in view of President Droupadi Murmu’s visit to the northeastern state, a senior official in the state Home department said on Friday.

Mizoram government has proposed postponement of the border talks with Assam slated for November 4 in view of President Droupadi Murmu’s visit to Mizoram
Murmu will arrive in Aizawl on November 3 on a two-day visit. She will attend the convocation of Mizoram University (MZU) and will inaugurate the Indian Institute of Mass Communication North Eastern Regional campus in Aizawl on November 3.

The president will also address the state assembly on November 4.

Home department additional secretary Lalhriatpuia said that the state government has sent a letter to Assam government requesting for deferment of the border talks, which was scheduled to be held in Guwahati on November 4.

“We have proposed the border talks to be held from November 9 to 11 due to the upcoming visit of the President. We are waiting for a response from the Assam government, which will fix the new date,” he told PTI.

The additional secretary said that the Mizoram delegation will be headed by Home minister Lalchamliana, who is likely to be accompanied by Land Revenue and Settlement minister Lalruatkima or Forest minister T.J. Lalnuntluanga.

The delegation would also include Home commissioner and secretary H Lalengmawia and other top officials of the department, he said.

Another home department official said that the upcoming talk with Assam is called the ‘real or crucial talk’ where the real boundary issue will be discussed in length for the first time.

The earlier two meetings held in Aizawl were goodwill missions or part of confidence building measures, he said.

The officer said that the Mizoram government has officially forwarded its claim to its Assam counterpart and ground demarcation of the inter-state boundary would be one of the main subjects during the parleys.

“There is no ground demarcation between Mizoram and Assam. We have approved an ‘approach paper’ citing the inner line reserved forest notified in 1875 as ‘our stand’ to be tabled during the talks. Ground demarcation will be one of the main topics,” the official, who refused to be named, told PTI.

Three Mizoram districts – Aizawl, Mamit and Kolasib share a 164.6 km long inter-state boundary with Assam’s Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi districts.

The border dispute between the two neighbouring states is a long pending and vexed issue, which stemmed from from two colonial demarcations of 1875 and 1933.

While Mizoram regarded the inner line reserve forest notified in 1875 as its historical boundary, Assam accepted the survey of India’s map in 1933 as its constitutional boundary.

Violent clashes took place in the disputed area near Vairengte village on the National Highway – 306 in July last year leading to the death of six policemen and a civilian from Assam when forces of both states exchanged fire.

Subsequently, both states agreed to resolve the border disputes through dialogue thereby maintaining peace along the inter-state border.

Both the delegations had held its first meeting on August 5 last year and second round of meeting on August 9 this year.

Both sides had also held five virtual meetings so far.

Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga and his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma had also met twice in New Delhi to find an amicable solution to the border dispute. 

 

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