Mizoram has made it categorically clear that it stands by the notification of 1875 and that the boundary dispute with Assam be resolved on the basis of the document alone.
Passing the resolution, the Mizoram Boundary Committee, which met on Friday amidst heightened tensions between the two states over the interstate boundary, also said that border issues could not be resolved through the means of force and should be settled through mutual dialogues and deliberations.
“The demarcation of Mizoram’s boundary/border on its northern side is to be found only in the Inner Line of 1875. Hence, the Committee will continue its stance that the Mizoram-Assam Boundary be desirably resolved on the basis of this document alone,” a resolution passed in the meeting said.
It said that Mizoram intends to protect its land “as it was occupied by our forefathers to its utmost ability, and asks the people of Mizoram for their solidarity and support.”
The boundary of Lushai Hills, as Mizoram was known then, was demarcated on the basis of the 1875 document under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation of 1873. This was further modified in 1933. Mizoram follows the 1875 demarcation since it had the consent of the then tribal chiefs unlike the 1933 re-drawing on the basis of which it was declared a union territory in 1972 and then a state in 1987.
The Mizoram government constituted the boundary committee on July 23 to address the boundary demarcation issue with deputy chief minister Tawnluia as its chairman and home minister Lalchamliana as vice-chairman. Three days later, on July 26, the festering boundary dispute between the two states escalated into a major flare-up leading to the death of six Assam Police personnel when their Mizoram counterparts opened fire on them.
Approving the actions taken by the government on the border issue, the committee has urged that it continue taking steps courageously.
“The Committee strongly condemns the incursion of the Assam Police into the Mizoram Police Post at Vairengte on 26.07.2021, heavily outnumbering them and opening fire first. The Committee is deeply saddened over this avoidable yet unfortunate incident, in which a number of persons lost their lives and many injured,” it resolved.
It said since the border issue was “intertwined with ethnic issues, it is our appeal to the people that they remain united on this matter, and show fortitude in the face of any inconveniences arising out of the situation”, while appealing to the Mizo not to create any hardships for non-Mizo residents in the state because of the current border issue.
The committee also said that the memorandum for setting up of Boundary Commission for Settlement, Delimitation, and Demarcation of Boundary between Mizoram and Assam, which was jointly signed by all political parties, NGOs and JAC, in 2018 will be revised and amended as required.