An Aizawl based Joint Action Committee (JAC) on Monday asked both the Centre and Mizoram government to revoke orders directing the district administrations to maintain the status quo on construction activities along the Assam-Mizoram border.
The government ordered the border district administrations to maintain the status quo and refrain from undertaking construction activities along the border with Assam.
The JAC on Inner Line Reserve Forest served an ultimatum to the Mizoram government threatening that it would take stringent measures if the orders are not withdrawn within 72 hours from Monday.
On November 8, the Mizoram home department directed deputy commissioners of two border districts – Kolasib and Mamit – to maintain the status quo and refrain from undertaking construction activities on the disputed areas along the Mizoram-Assam border based on the Union Home Ministry’s advisory of November 5.
The JAC chairman Lianzuala said that they strongly opposed the orders as they were insults to Mizoram.
“The orders (both issued by the MHA and Mizoram home department) were one-sided and an insult to the people of Mizoram as neighbouring Assam is still continuing with the construction of roads and other structures along the inter-state border,” Lianzuala told a news conference on Monday.
“Injustice is done to Mizoram by partially instructing it to maintain status quo,” Lianzuala added.
He blamed the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for its alleged “one-sided and biased approach” and accused it of showing impudent disrespect to the people of Mizoram.
“The notification and order were issued against Mizoram to favour Assam,” he alleged.
Lianzuala also questioned the state home minister Lalchamliana as to why he did not take steps to revoke the orders if he is unaware of them.
Earlier, Mizoram home minister Lalchamliana told reporters that he did not aware of either of the MHA or state home department orders.
He also said the Mizoram government would continue to undertake activities in the border areas within the state’s territory.
In its letter submitted to the state chief secretary Renu Sharma on Monday, the JAC claimed that the people of Mizoram have been respecting and maintaining the status quo along the inter-state border from the beginning.
It alleged that workers and civilians of Assam violated the status quo on several occasions by constructing structures and other projects and they continue to do so till now.
“The JAC feels that this notification and order were issued only for the benefits and betterment of Assam causing grave injustice for Mizoram and the people,” the letter said.
“We fervently pray to revoke this order passed against Mizoram yet in favour of Assam but to hand over 509 sq. miles (Inner Line Reserved Forest) at the hands of Mizoram to which it legally and rightly belonged and possessed till date,” it said.
The letter also said the JAC would take stringent measures and do the needful as required if the November 5 order is not revoked within 72 hours.
Meanwhile, a state home department official said the department letters were just advisories issued as per the MHA advisories directing both Mizoram and Assam government to maintain the status quo on the disputed areas along the inter-state border.
“The advisories were issued simultaneously to Mizoram and Assam governments by the MHA on November 5. The advisories were, in fact, a reminder of the past advisories. It was based on the MHA advisories that the state home department issued an advisory to district administrations,” he said.
Lalchamliana also said he has now received both advisories of the MHA and state home department but refused to make further comments on the matter.
He said border activities are still going on in some areas within Mizoram’s territory.
Mizoram’s three districts – Aizawl, Kolasib and Mamit – share a 164.6 km long boundary with Assam’s Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj district.
The border dispute between the two Northeastern states is a long pending issue, which stemmed from two demarcations during the colonial period.
The inter-state border dispute took an ugly turn on July 26 when police forces of the two-state exchanged fire near Vairengte border town along the National Highway- 306 leading to the death of six policemen and a civilian from Assam.