Article and visuals by: Zothanzuala Hmar, The North-Eastern Chronicle
Aizawl: After a series of clashes and a deadly gunfight, Ministers of Mizoram and Assam Cabinet Ministers announced an agreement on August 5, 2021, to formally end the border dispute in Assam – Mizoram border and released a joint statement.
Both the leaders met in Aijal Club for their first face-to-face talks as a part of the strategic dialogue between Mizoram and Assam.
The Mizoram-Assam statement issued by both states detailed a number of agreements related to the withdrawal of armed forces and other matters.
Also read: Mizoram Youth Congress seeks immediate intervention from President Ram Nath Kovind; asks to resolve Assam-Mizoram border dispute
TOUCH DOWN AT LENGPUI AIRPORT
With heavy armed police presence, Assam Ministers Atul Bora and Ashok Singhal arrived in Aizawl by a private chartered flight at approximately 11:20 A.M at Lengpui Airport and were welcomed by Lalruatkima, Mizoram Minister of State.
On their way to their protocol vehicle, Ashok Singhal told The North Eastern Chronicle that “We are definitely expecting good outcomes in the meeting since we are brother states” and headed towards Aizawl with a convoy of motorcades.
ARRIVAL AT AIJAL CLUB
Mizoram top officials including the Home minister of state Lalchamliana were present at the arrival ceremony at Aijal Club where the two states held a meeting. Numbers of media personnel were also present during his arrival.
JOINT STATEMENT MADE BY ASSAM AND MIZORAM
After their meeting, a press conference was held where they announced the two states have signed a joint statement on law & order at the inter-state boundary. The joint statement was mutually agreed upon and duly signed by the two parties.
Mizoram delegation led by the Home Minister Shri Lalchamliana also included Revenue Minister Shri Lalruatkima and Home Secretary Shri Vanlalngaihsaka.
On Assam’s part, the delegation was led by Shri Atul Bora, Minister of Agriculture, Border Protection & Development and also included Shri Ashok Singhal, Minister, Urban Development and Shri G.D.Tripathi, Commissioner & Secretary, Border
Protection & Development.
The Joint Statement between the Assam & Mizoram delegations signed on 5th August, 2021 (Thursday) reads as this :
The Governments of Assam and 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 tensions prevailing around the inter-State borders and to find lasting solutions to the disputes through discussions.
The representatives of Government of Mizoram convey condolences for the loss of lives on 26th July, 2021 and convey best wishes for speedy recovery of those injured.
Both the State Governments agree to maintain peace in the inter-State border areas and welcome deployment of neutral force by the Government of India in this regard.
For this purpose, 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 and conflict has taken place between the Police forces of the two States during recent times.
This would include all such areas along the Assam-Mizoram border in the district of Karimganj, Hailakandi and Cachar, Assam; Mamit and Kolasib districts, Mizoram.
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.
The Joint Statement was signed by Home Minister Shri Lalchamliana and Home Secretary Shri Vanlalngaihsaka representing Mizoram; whereas on behalf of Assam, the Statement was signed by Border Protection & Development Minister Shri Atul Bora and Border Protection & Development Secretary Shri GD Tripathi.
LET’S FORGET ABOUT THE PAST
During their press conference at the Aijal Club, Atul Bora said “Let’s forget about the past” when asked about the July 26th incident by journalists and further stated that “such questions should be avoided as we are starting a new peace agreement”.
The Young Mizo Association (YMA) have also expressed their condolences to the seven Assam cops who were shot dead by Mizoram police on the 26th July incident.
JOYOUS LUNCH WITH HAPPY FACES
After the press conference, delegates and officials shared a table for lunch and were happy that they could finally tie a bow to end the disputed border with peace talks.
After their lunch, Lalchamliana the Home Minister of Mizoram told media personnel that Assam and Mizoram will hold a series of peace talks to improve peace and harmony among the two states.
It is such a relief and a historical moment for India that the two neighbouring states, who have recently engaged in a gun battle have found common grounds for a better tomorrow and it is our hope that Assam and Mizoram will maintain their accord.
It is this very moment that the whole country and NE States has been waiting for, the time that we stand as one once again because peace is always better than being right.