Assam-Mizoram talks
A joint photograph after the talks between Mizoram and Assam officials on border disputes at Bhairavi. Image credit – Northeast Now

Following a district level meeting at Bhairabi between officials of Mizoram and Assam on Tuesday, both the sides agreed to maintain status quo on the disputed land along the inter-state border.

According to an official, while the team of officials from Mizoram was led by Kolasib Deputy Commissioner Zoensanga, his Hailakandi counterpart, Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli led the team of officials from Assam.

The district level meeting was held following a complaint against construction of a mosque at Zophai near Bhairabi allegedly by some residents of Assam, said the official.

Earlier, the Centre had asked both Mizoram and Assam governments to maintain status quo on the disputed land following a tension in the border.

The tension was caused by an attempt by the functionaries of Mizoram’s apex students’ body, Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), to construct a resting shed at Zophai in March last year.

Also read: Mizo students protest over Assam-Mizoram border dispute

MZP had earlier alleged that illegal structures, including a mosque, shops and a building were newly constructed by residents of Assam at Zophai despite the Centre’s directive to maintain status quo.

A meeting of the core committee on the border issue was held on August 8 last under the leadership of Mizoram Chief Secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo.

The meeting had instructed the Mizoram Home department to take adequate measures for demolition of structures illegally being constructed by residents of Assam.

Meanwhile, Mizoram’s main opposition party, Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) slammed the Mizoram government on Tuesday for not being active in resolving the issue and becoming an embarrassment for the people.

A statement issued by the ZPM said some of their party workers visited Zophai area and inspected the ongoing construction of a mosque by residents of Assam on the disputed land along the inter-state border

The ZPM raised question over the alleged construction at a time when both Mizoram and Assam government officials were inspecting the site.

The party in their statement further said home minister Lalchamliana while replying to a question from ZPM member, Lalsawivunga, in March last had informed the State legislature that he had no knowledge of any border dispute with neighbouring Assam.

Aniruddha Laskar

Aniruddha Laskar is the Chief of Bureau, South Assam &and Mizoram. He can be reached at - anilaskar@gmail.com

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