As an outcome of the chief secretary level meeting on Sunday, movement of traffic between Mizoram and Assam resumed on Monday after 12 days of blockade on National Highway-306 triggered by the present border standoff between the two neighbouring states, a senior police officer said.
Mizoram Deputy Inspector General of Police (Northern Range) Lalbiakthanga Khiangte said at least 23 vehicles including 17 stranded Mizo truckers have entered from Assam under police escort till 4 pm on Monday.
He said that at least 50 vehicles will be released from Mizoram on Monday, of which 31 vehicles have already crossed the Assam border in the evening and the remaining 19 vehicles are heading towards the inter-state border.
Once the remaining 19 vehicles crossed Vairengte check gate, vehicles stranded in Lailapur will be released by the Assam government, he said.
According to Khiangte, the state government on Monday morning has deployed Border Security Forces on the disputed areas- Vairengte and Saihapui ‘V’ villages in Kolasib district bordering Assam’s Cachar district and Thinghlun village in west Mizoram’s Mamit district bordering Assam’s Karimganj district.
He said that the situation on the inter-state border is normal as there was no fresh violence in the area.
Residents of Lailapur have launched a blockade since October 28 demanding the withdrawal of Mizoram forces from what they claimed as Assam’s territory.
Mizoram had refused to pull out arguing that forces were deployed within its territory.
The meeting of chief secretaries of Mizoram and Assam chaired by Union Home Secretary Ahay Kumar Bhalla on Sunday decided that both states will withdraw their forces from the inter-state border areas and the blockade on NH-306 in Assam side will be lifted.
Mizoram chief secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaugo had said that the state government would deploy BSF jawans on the disputed areas to replace state forces.
However, a section of state forces will still be deployed in the border areas to comfort and maintain peace among the Mizo people.
One company and two platoons of BSF will be deployed in Vairengte, two platoons in Saihapui ‘V’ and another one company at Thinghlung village, he said.
Mizoram-Assam border dispute is a long pending issue that remained unresolved till date.
Earlier, Union Additional Home Secretary( Northeast) Satyendra Garg told reporters in Aizawl that the Centre was committed to bring a permanent solution to the inter-state border dispute by March next year.
The present standoff erupted on October 9, when Assam’s Karimganj officials demolished a farm house and destroyed plantations on the disputed land near Thinghlun village in Mamit district.
At least seven people from Mizoram and a few others from Assam were injured in a violent clash that ensued after residents of Vairengte torched several temporary bamboo huts and stalls along the NH-306 in retaliation as some protesters from Assam allegedly pelted stone at Indian Reserve Battalion guarding the border on October 17.
In March 2018, the border dispute between the two neighbouring states also erupted when functionaries of Mizoram’s apex student body Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) attempt to reconstruct the resting shed destroyed by Assam police on the disputed land near Bairabi village in Kolasib district.
More than 60 people, including a few local journalists, were injured when resorted to lathi charge and firing.
Several dialogues held since 1995 have yielded little results to resolve the decades old standoff.