From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Not Much
Mains level : Special provisions for North-east India
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked Assam and Mizoram to maintain peace and display “no aggressive posturing” after violent clashes took place at the border between the two States on Saturday night.
Can you recall the chronology of reorganization of the entire North-East region?
What is the issue?
- Assam has had a boundary dispute with Mizoram for decades and several rounds of talks have been held since 1994-95 to solve the issue.
- Till 1972, Mizoram was a part of Assam and acquired full statehood in 1987.
- The 164.6 km-long border between the States runs along with Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts in Assam and Kolasib, Mamit and Aizawl districts in Mizoram.
- There are several border areas where violence have been reported.
How complex is this dispute?
- In the Northeast’s complex boundary equations, showdowns between Assam and Mizoram residents are less frequent than they are.
- The boundary between present-day Assam and Mizoram, 165 km long today, dates back to the colonial era when Mizoram was known as Lushai Hills, a district of Assam.
- The dispute stems from a notification of 1875 that differentiated Lushai Hills from the plains of Cachar, and another of 1933 that demarcates a boundary between Lushai Hills and Manipur.
- Mizoram believes the boundary should be demarcated on the basis of the 1875 notification, which is derived from the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR) Act, 1873.
- Mizo leaders have argued in the past argued against the demarcation notified in 1933 because Mizo society was not consulted.
Other boundary disputes in North-East
During British rule, Assam included present-day Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya besides Mizoram, which became separate state one by one. Today, Assam has boundary problems with each of them.
- Nagaland shares a 500-km boundary with Assam.
- In two major incidents of violence in 1979 and 1985, at least 100 persons were killed. The boundary dispute is now in the Supreme Court
- On the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh boundary (over 800 km), clashes were first reported in 1992, according to the same research paper.
- Since then, there have been several accusations of illegal encroachment from both sides, and intermittent clashes. This boundary issue is being heard by the Supreme Court.
- The 884-km Assam-Meghalaya boundary, too, witnesses flare-ups frequently. As per Meghalaya government statements, today there are 12 areas of dispute between the two states.