A Mizoram-based Joint Action Committee on Innerline Reserve Forest Demand on Wednesday served an ultimatum to the state government to respond to the Centre’s directive to set up a boundary commission to settle the decades-old border dispute with Assam.
The JAC has threatened to launch an indefinite strike if the Mizoram government fails to form a boundary commission.
The ultimatum came days after a Mizo’s farmhouse located in the disputed area, claimed by both Mizoram and Assam as their own, was torched by the Karimganj district administration of Assam which renewed the border standoff between the two neighbouring states.
Addressing a press conference in Aizawl, JAC chairman F. Ngurbiakvela said a joint memorandum was submitted by the JAC, all NGOs and political parties of the state to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the state in November 2018, urging the Centre to set up a boundary commission for settlement, delimitation and demarcation of the boundary between Mizoram and Assam.
Responding to the memorandum, the Union home ministry had subsequently sent letters to the chief secretaries of Assam and Mizoram and also the Surveyor General of India asking them to give views or comments of their respective state governments on the matter, he said.
However, the Mizoram government failed to send its comments despite repeated reminders by the Centre made on at least four occasions, he said.
Ngurbiakvela said the decades-old border dispute between the two neighbouring states could have been resolved and the recent border tension in Mamit district averted had the boundary commission been set up.
Urging the state government to immediately give comment on the matter, the leader said they will patiently wait till October 21, failing which the JAC will stage a state-wide indefinite strike to mount pressure on the state government.
Meanwhile, state home secretary Lalbiaksangi said the government had held discussions with all NGOs and political parties on setting up a boundary commission but could not reach a consensus till date.
“I am totally unaware of whether or not views or comments have been sent to the Centre on matters related to boundary commission. But I am pretty sure that we have held consultations with all civil society organisations and political parties on the issue. No consensus has been reached yet,” she said.
She said the government is making massive efforts to settle its border disputes with neighbouring states.
Mizoram shares inter-state borders with Assam (164.6km), Manipur (95 km) and Tripura (66 km).