No breakthrough has been achieved in ground-level talks between Mizoram and Assam to resolve the inter-state border dispute in the Barak valley region, where several people were injured in a clash over the issue last week, officials say. Mizoram has hardened its stand on the rift and has said it will get essential supplies from neighbouring countries like Myanmar and Bangladesh if the blockade of trucks in Assam is not eased. Both the states have agreed to a home secretary-level talks on Wednesday.
Hundreds of trucks carrying essential commodities to Mizoram have been stranded at the inter-state border since October 16. There has been no fresh violence but tension persists in the border districts.
“In view of the blockade of the national highway, which is the lifeline of essential goods for the people of Mizoram, the Chief Minister mentioned that this would necessitate the government to explore possibilities of transporting essential goods through the neighbouring states of Manipur and Tripura, and even from the neighbouring countries of Myanmar and Bangladesh,” a Mizoram government statement said.
The Assam government has said it is committed to restoring normalcy along the inter-state border with Mizoram.
“At ground zero, we were having talks at the deputy commissioner level but things have not moved ahead. On Wednesday, we will have a home secretary-level talks with Mizoram. The idea is to find a solution to the impasse fast and instil confidence. The truckers have been assured by Mizoram and from outside that security cover will be provided; yet they are unwilling to proceed to Mizoram. We hope to achieve some headway soon,” Assam Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna told NDTV.
The home secretary-level talks will be held at Lailapur beat office on Wednesday morning to resolve the matter amicably, Gyanendra Dev Tripathi, Assam’s Commissioner and Secretary, Border Protection Department, told reporters.
The officer has asked Mizoram to withdraw its security forces from the territorial jurisdiction of Assam and to dismantle their camps.
“As regards to non-operation of the trucks carrying essential commodities to Mizoram due to apprehension in the minds of truck drivers and transport owners about their safety inside Mizoram, the district administrations of three districts of Barak valley are leaving no stones unturned to ensure smooth movement,” he added.
The Assam Police’s Special DGP (Border), Mukesh Agarwal, said the situation at the border is under control, with no further incident in the past 24 hours. He promised adequate protection to the people living close to the border.