Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and apprised him about the border situation with Mizoram amid efforts by the central government to work out a resolution to the decades-old dispute between the states.
Sarma, who is in the national capital, also met Union Home Minister Amit Shah twice today. Sources said a more permanent solution for border row is being worked out by the Centre and the state.
Sarma told ANI in an interview that confidence-building measures are being worked out with Mizoram and the border row is something that cannot be resolved overnight.
During his meeting with PM Modi, the Assam chief minister also apprised the Prime Minister on development work done in his state during the past two months.
“I met Prime Minister to apprise the development work we have taken in last two months. We have two important issues. We have a fertilizer company in Namrup for which we want a revival plan. Also, I have apprised him about steps we are taking against trafficking of drugs etc in the state,” he said.
“Briefly, I have apprised him over the present situation of Assam and Mizoram border,” he added.
Elaborating on the border rows between Assam has been facing with many states in the northeast, Sarma said that these problems have persisted since 1972.
Last month, tensions had escalated between Mizoram and Assam over the border dispute after six Assam policemen and one civilian were killed along the border of two states in violence.
Assam Chief Minister termed the incident as “unfortunate”.
“We do not have any issue with other states but what happened with Mizoram was unfortunate. We do not have ongoing conflict. We keep on discussing, talking, attending to other matters. It is not like that there is a war zone created out there. I talk to them (CMs of other northeastern states) almost every day. With Mizoram Chief Minister also I keep on talking,” Sarma said.
Asked about the way forward on resolving the border issue, he said that there is a need to engage but it becomes difficult to do so when every state believes that it is their land.
Sarma also spoke about the possibilities of Centre’s intervention and mediation by the courts as possible solutions to contain the border row.
“Overnight solution is not in sight. But as you go along, peaceful environment is necessary. Centre too will discuss. The Court can mediate as well. We will see,” added Sarma.
The Assam Chief Minister said that he is discussing with other states to trying and resolve the border issue.
“However, these are complex issues. With regard to Arunachal and Nagaland, title suits are pending before Supreme Court. With Meghalaya government, we are talking and trying to find a solution but these are complex issues and is not possible to find a solution overnight,” Sarma said.
“With Meghalaya discussion is on with the Chief Minister. With Mizoram, this is not the right time to hold a discussion. As of now, we need to have confidence-building measures and we are working on it,” he added.
The Chief Minister also informed that with around 400 trucks leaving for Mizoram from Assam, things between the two states seem to have been smoothened since yesterday.
“There is absolutely no blockade and people have responded to my call and things are now normal,” he said.
Assam government had revoked an advisory issued earlier advising its people against travel to Mizoram on Thursday but an official of the neighbouring state had on Friday said that no vehicle from Assam had entered it despite the withdrawal of the advisory.
Referring to Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain, Sarma said she is coming back to Assam on August 12.
“We are going to give her a civic reception. Pandemic is there, within the restrictions we will try to give her best possible reception and she is our pride and we will try to give the best.” (ANI)