Border row with Mizoram a poll issue in Barak valley

The border row between Assam and Mizoram is turning out to be an election issue in a couple of constituencies in Assam’s and the BJP-led state’s finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has promised to resolve the issue, following requests by people in Katigorah.

Recently, Assam and Mizoram were engaged in a bitter border row which was settled following repeated intervention by the Centre. The border areas along the Assam-Mizoram border has witnessed several flare-ups since October 9 last year.

At Lailapur, which falls under Dholai assembly constituency, about 20 shops and houses were burnt. A number of people were injured in the clashes following the incident. Later, a school was demolished in a blast at Lailapur.

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  • Following this, truckers stopped the movement of trucks in Mizoram and the supply chain of essential commodities was severely affected after a blockade along National Highway 306. Central forces had to be deployed in the area.

    Assam has alleged that Mizoram has encroached upon the Shingla Reserve Forest in Karimganj district. Former Assam chief secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna had said earlier, “There has been regular encroachment from the Mizoram side on the Shingla Reserve Forest. Mizoram police has set up a police outpost on the Assam side. IRB battalion was deployed. These have angered the locals there”.

    Mizoram however has refuted any such encroachment.

    Assam parliamentary affairs minister Chandra Mohan Patowary had informed the state assembly in December last year said there have been 56 incidents of “encroachment” of Assam’s territory by neighbouring states in 2020. Patowary said in the Assam assembly that there have been 17 incidents of encroachments in Cachar district. There are inter-state borders in 24 districts of Assam.

    Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal told ET, “The matter is in the Supreme Court and we have often taken up the matter with the neighbouring states and tried to resolve the dispute”.

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