Recently, on the border of Assam and Mizoram, there occurred a firing over a territory dispute, which again spotlighted the 150-year-old inter-state border issue in the North-East.

The distance of the boundary of Assam and Mizoram is 165 km long. This boundary is shared between the Assam districts – Karimganj, Cachar, and Hailakandi and Mizoram districts – Kolasib, Mamit and Aizawl. And, both states also share boundaries with Bangladesh.

The conflict between present-day Assam and Mizoram is traced from the colonial era when the British East India Company used to rule in India. By the British Raj, inner lines were demarcated according to their administrative needs.

Even when India got Independence in 1947, the issue was not able to be resolved completely, and both states have different perceptions over the border of their states.

In 1987, Mizoram got the status of an independent state, by the State of Mizoram Act,1986.

Assam got the status of a state in 1950 and also lost a lot of territory to the new states that emerged within its borders in the 1960s and 1970s.

The stems of the dispute can be seen from the notification of 1875, and this differentiated the Lushai hills of Mizoram and Cachar Plains of Assam, and another notification of 1933 demarcated the boundary between Lushai hills and Manipur.

So, here Mizoram believes that the demarcation should be done on the basis of notification of 1875 which is derived from Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation(BEFR) Act, 1873, and have argued for the demarcation done by the notification of 1933 because they were not consulted for this demarcation.

The 1933 notification – demarcated Lushai Hills and Manipur, which begins from the tri-junction of Lushai Hills, Cachar district and Manipur.

But the Assam government follows the 1933 demarcation. This leads to the origin of conflict.

According to an agreement between the governments of Assam and Mizoram, the status quo should be maintained in no man’s land in the border area.

Status quo means the existing state or the present state.

No man’s land means the border area of land between the border of two states or countries which is not owned by anyone.

When the British Company was ruling in India, Assam included present-day Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya. And, as time passes, all of them become separate states, and Assam has boundary conflicts with all of them.

Nagaland and Assam share a large boundary which is 500 km.
There have been several violent clashes and armed conflicts, several kills since 1965.
Nagaland got the status of State in 1963.
This conflict is pending in the Supreme Court.

Arunachal Pradesh and Assam share a boundary of over 800 km.
It got the status of a state in 1987 by the State of Arunachal Act, 1986.
The first clash between the states was seen in 1992.
This dispute is also being heard by the Supreme Court.

Assam and Meghalaya share the largest boundary among all the state boundaries which is 884 km.
Meghalaya got the status of a state in 1972.
As per the Meghalaya government, till today there are 12 areas of dispute between the states.


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