North-East India – Security and Developmental Issues

 Assam-Mizoram Boundary Dispute


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Assam-Mizoram Boundary Dispute

Mains level : Interstate boundary disputes in India

The recent violence and tension on the Assam-Mizoram border underline the differences the two States have had since 1972 when Mizoram was carved out of Assam as a Union Territory.

Try answering this:

Q.Assam has had boundary problems with almost all of its north-eastern neighbours. Discuss.

*Also note the states bordering Assam.

What is the Dispute?

  • Mizoram was carved out of Assam as a Union Territory in 1972. In 1987, it became a full-fledged state.
  • The two states have sparred over where the border lies in the past, leading to the occasional violence.
  • The disagreement stems from differing views on which border demarcation to follow.
  • Mizoram’s perception of the border is based on an 1875 notification that flows from the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act of 1873.
  • The Act demarcated the Lushai Hills from the plains and valleys in the North East, restricting free travel between the two zones. The hills were deemed to be “excluded areas”.
  • Assam, for its part, goes by a 1933 notification by the state government that demarcated the Lushai Hills, as Mizoram was then known, from the province of Manipur.

The Assamese problem

  • Assam has had boundary problems with all its north-eastern neighbours, except Manipur and Tripura that had existed as separate entities.
  • The primary reason is that the other States, a part of Assam during the British rule, have contested the boundaries since they became States, beginning with Nagaland in 1963.
  • Assam has accepted several recommendations of border commissions set up by the Supreme Court, but other States have been sticking to “historical boundaries” that go back to the period before 1826.
  • However, the border residents have to bear the brunt of the unrest unless an acceptable solution is arrived at.

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