Less than two weeks after the border dispute with the northeastern Indian state of Mizoram was resolved, Assam’s dispute with another neighboring state, Meghalaya, has begun.
The Karbiyanglang district of western Assam is tense after the four-day inter-state border dispute escalated. According to Nepali-speaking Arjun Sharma of Karbiyanglang, daily disputes continue between Karbiyanglang of Assam and Keribhoi district of Meghalaya. “There are daily clashes between police and locals,” Sharma said over the phone. “Tensions are likely to escalate rather than resolve.”
Tensions have been high on the Assam-Meghalaya border since last Monday. The cause of stress is normal. According to the Indian media, the tension has escalated after the Assam police mistreated the people of Meghalaya who were going to visit their relatives in Assam. It was banned from crossing the border due to corona infection. Tensions erupted when police tried to stop them from crossing the border despite the administration’s ban. Later, there was a scuffle between the citizens of both the countries.
There is also a large population of Nepali speakers in this area. As the inter-state border dispute escalates, Nepali-speaking people are also likely to face problems.
Assam has years-old border dispute with four northeastern Indian states. Meghalaya has been in constant border dispute for nearly 50 years. “Meghalaya became a separate province from Assam in 1972,” said Rohit Gautam, a journalist from Assam.
The Meghalaya government claims that Assam has captured 12 areas of Meghalaya. Assam, however, has not given up its position that the region is its own territory. Without coordination with Meghalaya in these 12 disputed areas, Assam still cannot build any physical infrastructure. .
One month ago, on July 26, seven people, including six from Assam, were killed in a border dispute between Assam and Mizoram. More than 50 were injured. The area, which had been the scene of a long-running dispute between Assam’s Kachar and Mizoram’s Lusai Hill, was cleared on August 5 after months of tension. In some parts of the 165-kilometer-long border between Assam and Mizoram, there are disputes between the two states.
Assam had imposed an undeclared economic blockade on Mizoram. Boundary disputes between the two states continue to flare up. There was a border dispute in October last year and in 2018 as well. Eight people, including security personnel from both the states, were killed at the time.
The Union Home Ministry had intervened directly to settle the dispute. Due to which the dispute between the neighboring states was resolved in time. Government officials from both Assam and Mizoram agreed to deploy a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on the border between the two states, and for the central government to map the border scientifically via satellite.
The joint statement was signed by Assam Senior Minister Atul Boro and Mizoram Home Minister Lal Chamaliana.