TODAY -

Assam-Mizoram inter State border dispute : An overview

PC Lawmkunga *



Much has been said and written on the inter-State border stand-off between Assam and Mizoram arising out of the claims and counter-claims on the boundary between the two States. My attempt here is not to sit on judgment to determine whose claim is legitimate or whose is not; my intention is to recount the adverse impact this imbroglio has on both the States and to urge the authorities to take action to allay the sorry plight of the people it has adversely affected particularly in Mizoram.

How the stand-off started : Mizoram has four sensitive coterminous boundaries with Assam. They are at Thinghlun village in Mamit District, Vairengte town, Saihapui ‘V’ village and Zophai areas, all in Kolasib District. These border villages witnessed intermittent intimidation from across the border during the last few years.

However, no incident of serious magnitude has ever taken place before May 8, 2018 when a large posse of armed police accompanied by civilians suddenly attacked the defenseless people at Zophai where a fragile structure of Zofate Chawlhbuk (Mizos’ Gazebo) was being erected. In the melee, a good number of innocent persons sustained injuries. Even media persons were not spared.

Thereafter, there was a mutual understanding between the people on both sides to maintain status quo on the border areas. However, the understanding was more honored in breach than observance in as much as the Assam side renovated a cinema hall for Forest Office a few metres away from Vairengte Police check post. A Mosque was also erected at Zophai, a disputed side.

While these irritants persisted, another ugly incident occurred on 9th October 2020, when a militant mob led by no less a person than the Deputy Commissioner of Karimganj District set on fire the jhum-hut of Mr John Zolawma and extensively devastated the betelnut trees of Shri Ben David.

As if this was not enough, on 17th October 2020, some miscreants from Lailapur (Assam side) pelted stones at the Mizoram Indian Reserve police personnel on duty near the auto stand at Vairengte. Being incensed at the unprovoked attack, the villagers of Vairengte rushed to face the stone pelters and to rescue the IR personnel.

They chased away those miscreants and in the fracas, some kachcha houses on the roadside of Lailapur suffered fire damage. On 17th a mob of Lailapur residents demolished Village Level Task Force-Covid 19’s duty post and gate at Saihapui V.

A senior police officer from Assam of ADGP rank on 29th October came there and he was reported to hold out threat that if all police personnel deployed by Mizoram Government on the border were not withdrawn, all Mizoram-bound vehicles would be halted.

As per understanding during the video conference held by Union Home Secretary with CSs of both the States on 29th October, all stranded vehicles in Mizoram were released but there was no reciprocal action on Assam side till date.

Assam police made their threat a reality : Being concerned over the aggressive attitude of Assam side, Mizoram Government strengthened the existing skeleton police forces not only at Saihapui V and Vairengte points, but also at the Thinghmun point.

Peeved by the stiff stand of Mizoram Government, the Assam police completely halted at Lailapur all vehicles bound for Mizoram from 29th October 2020. As a result, Mizoram’s lifeline for supply of essential commodities was totally cut off for the last 12 days.

Over 200 drivers and their vehicles are stranded today in Lailapur and Silchar without sufficient means of sustenance. They are at the mercy of some good Samaritans. Not all vehicles belonged to Mizoram, nearly half of them are from different parts of the country.

Request from the Government of Mizoram to the Government of Assam to clear the road and give passage to stranded vehicles fell on deaf ears. As the Assam Government remained a mute spectator of this situation, it cannot but be believed that this illegal blockade of public thoroughfare has tacit approval of the Assam Government.

The Assam CS who visited Lailapur on November 3 reiterated their demand for withdrawal of Mizoram police from “their land” but kept silent about the economic blockade on Assam side, thereby strengthening the Mizos’ suspicion that the blockade has the blessings of the Assam Government.

As a result, Mizoram suffers acute shortage of supply of essential commodities, of which the serious ones are artificial scarcity of cooking gas and motor spirit. The request from the Government of Mizoram to the Government of Assam and MHA to clear the highway at Lailapur drew blank till the time of writing this piece. {vide Mizoram CS’ letter D.O. No F.20015/3/2020 HM No dated 31.10.2020.}

This being the situation, Mizoram Government sought the help of IOC to permit them to take indent for cooking gas and motor fuel from their (IOC’S) plant in Manipur. The goodwill shown by IOC as also co-operation of the Government of Manipur and its people deserve our unqualified appreciation.

Solution urgently required: Boundary issue is too sensitive a matter to be dealt with levity and it cannot be settled overnight. It involves too many hierarchies making the process lengthy. The two opposing States will rarely come to a term of agreement. The question over the validity of Notification of 1875 as per BEFR 1873 will remain a subject of hot debate.

So will Assam notification of 1933. Meanwhile, the question many ask is this. Is the border issue a sufficient reason to starve the people across the border and deny them their right to live with dignity and pride ?

Mizoram is too small a State to challenge Assam in terms of population, economy and economic infrastructures. Nevertheless, does Mizoram too not have a legitimate right to enjoy an unhindered supply of essential commodities to feed its people ?

Has any State, for that matter Assam, the right to brow-beat its smaller and less developed sister State into toeing its line ignoring which the latter should suffer untold miseries ? This can happen solely between deadly foes.

Or are the Mizos being regarded by the Assam people as their sworn enemies ? This action on the part of Assam defies all principles of morality. Will they be courageous enough to take responsibility if anyone in Mizoram died of starvation ?

The Ministry of Home Affairs too seems to sleep for too long over this imbroglio. Dealing with the delicate issue of this nature in an ad-hoc manner will not take us far. Deployment of Central Paramilitary Forces to maintain peace on both sides of the border is not a panacea for all the ills either.

At best, it is too late and too little. MHA ought to have taken much earlier a pro-active role in lifting the illegal highway blockade resorted to by the people across the border. If deployment of Central Forces mean withdrawal of Mizoram State forces from the border, then Assam will have no longer excuse to detain vehicles en route to Mizoram.

But this is yet to happen. Anyway, there’s no rhyme and reason to make Mizoram and its carriers suffer these unnecessary hardships for no fault of theirs for the last many gruelling days.

Are MHA and Assam Government not having any empathy for the Mizos back home and those who are wrongfully detained in Assam ? The cascading impact of this blockade is two-fold, sorry plight of drivers stranded in Assam and non-availability of enough essential commodities in Mizoram.

This has compounded the already economic slump in Mizoram caused by the spread of Covid-19 pandemic. The utter neglect Mizo people suffer and the higher-ups’ insensitivity to their hardships are much more painful than physical hunger and thirst.

Even if the highway would be opened after a day or two, the Mizos will have to live with the bitter memories of this nightmare experience. Mizoram deserves better treatment as it is an integral part of this great country, India.


* PC Lawmkunga wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is a former Chief Secretary of Manipur
This article was webcasted on November 14 2020.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Last Day : Sangai Fest 2019 #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Celebration Of Constitution Day
  • Enrollment for Science Olympiads 2021
  • Equally in pandemic
  • Indian Constitution: A document that protects
  • Webinar: Sports Coaching Education
  • Haunting Imphal based media
  • NE Indigenous Women Peace Congregation
  • Ramification Of Manipur's Merger With India
  • The Dying Green Gold of Manipur: Bamboo
  • Ima Keithel - A Lament :: Poem
  • Working whether from office/home is important
  • Beauty care for the winter bride
  • Date with Shah : Not just another visit
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Thanga #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur State Journalist Award #2: Gallery
  • Ngaranchan, Asiisii: eMing
  • Manipur War Heroes deported to Kalapani
  • One match & two Man of the Match
  • Capacity building program for Juvenile Justice
  • Filmmaker Haobam Paban Kumar #2
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Significance of Ningol Chakkouba festival
  • Stigma, Pandemic & Mental Health Issues
  • Executive Meeting, National Sports University
  • Licypriya wins TN Khoshoo Memorial Award
  • ADB Univ pays tribute to Tarun Gogoi
  • Amit Shah's impending visit to Manipur
  • Muhammad Abdur Rahman: His life & works
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • 9th Loktak Arson Commemoration Day
  • Brown manuring for effective weed mgmt
  • Possible education trajectory after COVID-19
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Memo to Union Education Minister on MU
  • Mantra of test, trace, treat
  • Something is still fishy
  • Mera Houchongba @ Konung #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • National Unity Day 2020 : Gallery
  • Marriage is no child's play
  • Lady of the House :: Poem
  • A musing on BJP's social upliftment cell
  • Solution must not be undone by dissolution
  • Meitei Inclusivity & Arrival of Thadou Kukis #2
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • SRISTI-GYTI : Young Tech Innovation Awards
  • SITARE-GYTI : Projects in biotechnology
  • Irang : A bridge not too far
  • Become an NTSE scholar
  • Toll Free Helpline for Children Counselling
  • Condemns move to impose Sanskrit
  • Unwanted season again for no good reason
  • By-election @ Wangoi AC #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Retired IPS officer recounts violent period
  • Rural Dreams :: Poem
  • Understanding issues of foreign prisoners
  • AFSPA - Armed forces special power Act
  • Reiterate demand to rollback PDA decision
  • Date with Amit Shah on Nov 29
  • The making of a New India
  • Filmmaker Haobam Paban Kumar #1
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2020 #5: Gallery
  • Land Commission essential before 6th Sched..
  • A little nobody trying to save everybody
  • Why some people get more acne in winter
  • 95 more positive cases found at Wangoi AC
  • Center losing track on Naga Peace Process
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur State Journalist Award #1: Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba: Thailand Ningol letter
  • NE Indigenous Women Peace Congregation
  • CSI State Student Convention, Assam
  • What I saw from my window ?
  • Growing number of infected & deaths
  • Are we ignoring our courageous mothers
  • Ningols on way to mapam lamdam : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 17 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Kuki Nationalism & Political Aspiration : Report
  • COVID 19 patient delivers a healthy baby
  • Amur Falcon - A thanksgiving! :: Poem
  • Gender sensitization with law may prove good..
  • House of Poumai in Senapati : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Licypriya to address at Mock COP26 UK
  • Social Media and Negativism !
  • Career option in jewellery designing
  • Condemn arrest of student leader in Manipur
  • Morning walk wisdom
  • 'Roll back tax levied on petroleum'
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #7
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Ningol Chakkouba : A beautiful tradition
  • Ramification Of Manipur's Merger With India
  • Traditional medicinal herb 'Nong-mang-kha'
  • Education and employment
  • The Ani Thokpi culture of the people
  • Potsangbam Tomal Singh (1903 - 1999)
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • 'Stop the practice of locking of offices'
  • Delights of Diwali :: Poem
  • World Diabetes Day 2020
  • Bond is dead, long live James
  • Make this festive season more memorable
  • By-election @ Wangoi AC #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Let difficulties know that you are too difficult..
  • Buy local this Diwali
  • Assam-Mizoram inter State border dispute
  • Beauty tips for the perfect Diwali look
  • Rolling out the red carpet for COVID-19
  • Fulfill the promises Mr. CM
  • CM to be taken into confidence ?
  • Chiuluan village, Tamenglong #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Swearing-in of MLAs [Nov 12] : Gallery
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Cut off and castigated
  • Apathy makes MPSC immune to accountability
  • 'Roll back increase taxation on petrol'
  • Saving democracy
  • Radio Play: social awareness media #2
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Veg-in-a-Basket for Ningol Chakouba
  • Academic Council Meeting, NSU, Imphal
  • Lung Cancer: Most common cancer worldwide
  • Disaster risk reduction as career
  • National Education Day at RGU, Doimukh
  • Shopping for Covid ?
  • Left or Right: complex politics of India
  • COVID patient cast vote @Wangoi : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Swearing-in of M Rameshwar : Gallery
  • Consequence- massive flouting of protocols
  • Ramification Of Manipur's Merger With India
  • English Bye :: Poem
  • Conflict situation & investment atmosphere
  • Four out of five in by elections
  • Significance of the By-election result
  • By-election @ Wangoi AC #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Being vegetarian- hope for a brighter future
  • Observance of National Legal Services Day
  • General Manager NF Railway meet CM N Biren
  • One Rank One Pension (OROP)
  • Demand withdrawal of unjustified fees
  • Politically crucial by polls for some
  • Something needs to be added at RP act
  • Meitei Inclusivity & Arrival of Thadou Kukis #1
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Children celebrates b'day by distributing PPE
  • Can E-government curb corruption ?
  • Extempore Speech Competition at Bengoon
  • Sinking boat :: Poem
  • Multiple Positions wanted at SAS Manipur
  • By poll over, now focus on the virus
  • Covid Block at Raj Medicity : Gallery
  • Ningthoujam Raghumani in 2% Indian Scientist
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #6
  • Autumn rain :: Poem
  • Devil inside my head
  • Dedicated Covid Block at Raj Medicity
  • Radio Play: social awareness media #1
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • IBSD Director, listed among top 2% scientist
  • Gyanendro Ningombam : Hockey India Prez
  • Fix it or be as it is
  • Manipur comes first any day
  • Out Surchandra, in Rameshwar
  • Shifting of Rani Gaidinliu Museum
  • Mera Houchongba @ Konung #2 : Gallery
  • Poster Distribution on COVID-19 : Gallery
  • Champu-Khangpok pledge to protect Loktak
  • What a life ? :: Poem
  • Can India achieve a $ 5 trillion economy
  • Preparing for post Covid era
  • Free and fair by-election: a blatant lie
  • Longa Koireng in Autumn : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Training on mushroom @ Moirang : Gallery
  • Meitei Pangal's 4% Reservation in Hr Edu
  • ADBU Prof listed among Top Scientists
  • Beauty benefits of amla
  • NH7 Weekender announces lineup
  • DESAM, AIMS, ANSAM on target
  • Ramification: Manipur's Merger With India
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Untimely demise of Ksh Borish : Gallery
  • Admission- MSc Food Tech at CFTRI Mysuru
  • Is the inevitable on its way ?
  • Blood Donation Camp at Loktak Project
  • Mind, Body, Soul- Let there be imbalance!
  • Condemn Police delay to arrest in rape case
  • Climbing cases and deaths
  • Covid conspiracies- pandemic or opportunity?
  • Play the Pena !
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • Economic backwardness of hills of Manipur
  • RIST Talk -46 : Nobel Prize in Physics, 2020
  • Demise of Ksh Borish, student at IISER, Pune
  • Importance of early detection in breast cancer
  • My fake aficionado :: Poem
  • Highway of bailey bridges !
  • Disconnected dreams
  • Origin of Manipuri Vowel Diacritic '-aatap'
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Nov : Govt of Manipur
  • November Calendar for Year 2020 : Tools
  • Winter Vegetable Seeds Distribution : Gallery
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #5
  • Alibaba and 35 patriots
  • NDPP extends appreciation to electorate
  • Raising the call for a Greater Lim
  • Mera Houchongba @ Konung #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • MoU between IBSD Manipur & ICT Mumbai
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Program at Pune
  • Depression blues :: Poem
  • Understanding the undercurrents together
  • By-Election campaign & COVID-19 pandemic
  • General strike at Minuthong #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 awareness bike rally :: Gallery
  • Rs 1.42 lakh : assistance to 5 journalists
  • Solar power plants using rivers in Manipur
  • Sagolshem Indrakumar : Manipuri writer died
  • General strike at Minuthong #1: Gallery
  • Foot bridges in Imphal City #1 : Gallery
  • Bhagyachandra Anniv @Nabadwip : Gallery
  • NH 2 cut off at Khongnem (Mao) : Gallery
  • Tarao Laimanai in Chandel #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn the Manipuri script
  • Emergency Meeting on COVID-19 : Gallery
  • Yubi Lakpi Manipur indigenous game: Gallery
  • Langban Lam-Haiba at Andro #1: Gallery
  • Imphal valley from Tuikhang Aimol : Gallery
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar :: 2021
  • COVID Care Centre @UNACCO #2: Gallery
  • Brahmacharimayum Roji: Actress #2 : eRang
  • 'Zehara' - Manipuri Movie :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS