The governments of Assam and Mizoram on Thursday signed a joint declaration “to remove tensions prevailing around the inter-state borders and to find lasting solutions” after officials from the two states held discussions in Aizawl city. The two state governments decided to work together to resolve the border dispute.

“The representatives of Government of Mizoram convey condolences for the loss of lives on 26th July, 2021, and convey best wishes for speedy recovery of those injured,” the joint statement read.

Assam’s Minister for the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs and Irrigation Ashok Singhal, who was a part of the meeting with Mizo officials said that the Mizoram government has “condoled the death” of the police personnel.

He added that the two sides have agreed to the deployment of “neutral forces” in the conflict areas. The joint statement noted the areas – Assam’s districts of Karimganj, Hailakandi and Cachar, and Mizoram’s Mamit and Kolasib districts – which are at the state border.

“For this purpose, both the states shall not send their respective Forest and Police forces for patrolling, domination, enforcement or for fresh deployment to any of the areas where confrontation and conflict has taken place between the Police forces of the two States during recent times,” the statement added.

The Assam and Mizoram governments also agreed to take on all the required steps to “promote, preserve and maintain peace and harmony” among the residents of the two states, especially those residing in the border areas.

“We have verbally agreed that we will have talks at least once a month at the district level in the border areas and try to resolve issues locally and peacefully,” Mizoram Home Minister Lalchimliana told NDTV.

Border clashes

Five police officers from Assam were killed on July 26 after violence erupted along the state’s border with Mizoram.

The Mizoram government claimed that around 200 Assam Police personnel had crossed a duty post manned by the Central Reserve Police Force and the state police in Vairengte town in Kolasib district.

Following the rising tension between the two states, Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke with Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga to arrive at a peaceful resolution of the dispute.

The boundary between Assam and Mizoram is disputed at several points. The two states have often sparred over it, sometimes violently. Several rounds of dialogue at various levels since 1994 have failed to resolve the disagreement.