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In a bid to diffuse border tensions with Mizoram, two Assam ministers to visit Aizawl tomorrow

In a bid to diffuse border tensions with Mizoram after the July 26 incident in which six Assam police personnel were killed, Assam Ministers Atul Bora and Ashok Singhal will visit Aizawl on August 5 to meet representatives of the Mizoram government.

Taking to Twitter, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the ministers will visit Mizoram’s capital with a “message of peace from people of Assam”.

“Two of my senior colleagues Atul Bora and Ashok Singhal will visit Aizawl tomorrow with message of peace from people of Assam,” Sarma tweeted.
Commenting on the visit of Assam ministers, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga expressed hope that important steps will be achieved for the solution of the border problem.

“Tomorrow the 5th of August, 2021 representatives from #Assam Govt. led by senior Minister will meet representatives of #Mizoram Govt. led by senior Minister. I am sure important steps will be achieved for the solution of the border problem. #NorthEastIsOne,” Zoramthanga tweeted.

Speaking to ANI on Tuesday, Ashok Singhal said that the situation at the Assam-Mizoram border is “normal” and added that he along with Atul Bora will meet Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga on Thursday to find a resolution.

On July 26, the border dispute between the two Assam and Mizoram escalated and a fierce gun battle between the forces of the two states resulted in the death of six Assam police personnel and one civilian. At least 50 people were injured in the incident. Following the incident, six companies of CRPF were deployed to the disputed area as neutral forces.

A day after the clash, the Assam government said that in “another breach” of existing agreements and the existing status quo, Mizoram began constructing a road towards Rengti Basti in Assam, “destroying the Inner Line Reserve Forest in Lailapur area.”

“The Mizoram side also set up a new armed camp on a hillock next to the camp of the neutral force, CRPF, in the same vicinity,” it said.

Amid heightened tensions, the Assam government had issued a travel advisory and advised people from the state not to travel to Mizoram due to the “critical prevailing situation”. However, the Mizoram government clarified that there is no restriction on the movement of non-residents of Mizoram who will be traveling through the disputed area of the Kolasib district.

Zoramthanga has earlier directed Mizoram Police to withdraw the FIR registered against officials of Assam following the July 26 incident.

As a “goodwill” gesture, the Assam Chief Minister also gave directions to the state police to withdraw FIR against K Vanlalvena, Rajya Sabha MP from Mizoram. However, he said cases against other accused police officers will be pursued.

Speaking at a meeting of North-East Chief Ministers in Shillong on July 25, Zoramthanga said that “the large tract of areas claimed by Assam to be within its constitutional boundary has been used for collection of forest producers and for shifting and settled cultivation for the past 100 plus years by the people of Mizoram, and that Assam started claiming these areas only fairly recently due to population pressure apparently caused by the large-scale influx of migrants from outside Barak valley.”

The Mizoram Chief Minister had called upon the Assam government to withdraw their armed police camping at various locations in the agriculture fields of Mizo farmers since June 29. (ANI)

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