Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga on Monday said both the Mizoram and Assam governments are committed to resolving the long-pending border dispute.
The chief minister told a news conference on Monday that he had recently met Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma over the inter-state border issue in Delhi.
Both the state chief ministers also discussed border issues in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah under cordial atmosphere, he said.
During a meeting with the Union Home Minister, both Mizoram and Assam had agreed to form their own respective panels involving all stakeholders to resolve the border dispute through dialogue, Zoramthanga said.
“We decided to constitute delegations of our own, which will also involve representatives of opposition parties, NGOs and churches as members to discuss the border issue. We resolved to maintain peace and tranquility along the inter-state boundary,” he said.
Toward this end, they also agreed to have talks at chief minister-level from time to time, he said.
Zoramthanga said that the border dispute between Mizoram and Assam is a vexed and long-pending issue that needs more time to resolve.
“We may not be able to resolve it within the next two years of our rule. But Mizoram and Assam are committed to resolving it at the earliest,” he said.
On whether or not claiming back the inner line reserved forest notified in 1875, Zoramthanga said that the state boundary commission formed under the chairmanship of deputy chief minister Tawnluia has been entrusted to make proper standpoint of the state government on the boundary.
“As of now the relation between Mizoram and Assam on boundary issue is very cordial, so is with the Union Home Ministry,” he said.
Meanwhile, Joint Action Committee on Inner Line Reserved Forest Demand has urged the Mizoram government to take measures in order to take back the 509 square miles stretch of the reserve forest from Assam.
The JAC chairman Lianzuala on Monday told a news conference that they urged the state government to write a petition to the Centre and Assam government reclaiming the inner line reserved forest.
He claimed that the inner line reserved forest notified by the British government in 1875 historically belonged to Mizoram.
The JAC also urged the Mizoram government to claim revenue (tax) levied on the inner line reserved forest, which was allegedly due by the Assam government for nearly 50 years.
According to Lianzuala, a tax was collected from the inner reserved forest in the past by the Assam government as Mizoram was not in a good position to collect it.
While 70 per cent of tax went to Mizoram and the remaining 30 per cent to Assam, he said.
He alleged that the Assam government has stopped giving the Mizoram’s share since 1972.
Three Mizoram districts-Aizawl, Mamit and Kolasib share a 164.6 km long boundary with Assam’s Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts.
The border dispute took an ugly turn on July 26 when police forces of the two states fought a pitched gun battle at a disputed area between Mizoram’s Vairengte town and Lailapur (Assam) on the National Highway-306 in which six police and a civilian from Assam died.