PM, HM For Out-Of-Court Solution To NE Border Issue: Arunachal CM

Itanagar/Aizawl: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have stressed that the inter-state boundary issue be resolved amicably and have suggested an out-of-court solution to the matter, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu said during a virtual meeting conducted by Union DoNER Minister G. Kishan Reddy on Thursday.

Reddy, who was recently given the charge of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), during the virtual meeting discussed the various aspects of development of the region comprising eight states.

An official from the Arunachal Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said that Khandu said during the meeting that Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have in principle agreed to sort out the inter-state boundary issue out-of-court for which the state government has already started its groundwork.

“The inter-state boundary issue has been pending for long. I have discussed it with my Assam counterpart Hemanta Biswa Sarma and we have agreed to go for an out-of-court solution to all issues related to our boundaries.

“In fact, we have already started working on the ground. If everything goes well in the next few months, we may see some concrete results towards instilling peace permanently along our boundaries,” the CMO official said quoting the Chief Minister.

Inter-state boundary disputes between Assam, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Meghalaya, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh during the past several years have witnessed many violent activities and skirmishes among the security forces and the people living along the boundaries of these states.

Encroachment in the border areas, and various unlawful activities, including attacks and abductions, infrequently took place along the inter-state borders of the northeastern states, occasionally leading to major incidents.

The Central para-military forces have been deployed in some of the inter-state borders to prevent further escalation of violence.

Assam shares borders with six other northeastern states — Nagaland (512.1 km), Arunachal Pradesh (804.1 km), Manipur (204.1 km), Mizoram (164.6 km), Tripura (46.3 km) and Meghalaya (884.9 km).

Mizoram Home Minister Lalchamliana had said earlier this week that the crops of Mizo farmers had been destroyed at Buarchep (in Kolasib district) by the Assam police last week and demanded adequate compensation by the Assam government.

Lalchamliana said that additional Mizoram police forces have been deployed in the affected areas to quell the public fear and ensure a sense of normalcy.

On his part, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that in order to free the encroached land from Mizo encroachers and for protection of land and citizens of Assam residing in the Assam-Mizoram border areas, all types of preventive measures, including patrolling and area domination, have been taken up.

Sarma said during the ongoing session of the state Assembly that 1,777 hectares of land in three districts of southern Assam — Cahcar, Karimganj and Hailakandi — have been encroached by Mizos.

The Chief Minister said that last week, a chief secretary-level meeting was held between Assam and Mizoram in New Delhi on the behest of the Union Home Ministry.

“All lawful steps are being taken to prevent encroachment in the Assam-Mizoram inter-state border,” Sarma told the House.

Central paramilitary forces are maintaining security on both sides of the inter-state borders since the border troubles began in October last year.

According to Assam police, since October last year, several inter-state border skirmishes have taken place along the 164.6 km Assam-Mizoram border in which over 50 people were injured, one man was killed, besides causing large scale damage to property.

(IANS)