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Assam-Mizoram: A constitutional breakdown

Written by  लीड इंडिया, Mail Us: info@leadindiagroup.com Published in Sports Wednesday, 18 July 2012 10:22
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The bloodiest-ever incident between the two states was the culmination of the discontent that had been simmering since October 2020 over incidents of violence and Assam’s residents blocking NH-306, the lifeline to Mizoram, for 12 days

On Monday, Assam and Mizoram clashed over a disputed boundary. Five policemen and one civilian (all from Assam) were killed and nearly 50 others were injured. The bloodiest-ever incident between the two states was the culmination of the discontent that had been simmering since October 2020 over incidents of violence and Assam’s residents blocking NH-306, the lifeline to Mizoram, for 12 days. While Assam claims Mizoram has encroached on its boundary, Mizoram maintains the area belongs to the state.

Mizoram has accused Assam police personnel of entering its territory, indulging in violence, and claimed that it only retaliated after tear gas canisters and grenades were hurled by Assam’s security forces. Assam has blamed Mizoram of breaching existing agreements and status quo on the border, and accused the Mizoram police of firing on its security forces and civilians using light machine guns. A violent clash of this nature between two Indian states represents a constitutional breakdown. And the fact that the clash played out on Twitter, with chief ministers (CMs) of both states sparring and urging home minister Amit Shah to intervene, represents a political and institutional failure. Incidentally, Mr Shah had met the CMs of all Northeastern states over the weekend in Shillong where long pending inter-state border disputes were discussed.

Mizoram’s border dispute with Assam goes back to 1972 when the former was first carved out as a Union Territory (it became a state in 1987). Assam also has border disputes with Meghalaya, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. With states in the region either ruled by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) governments or, as in the case of Mizoram, by constituents of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), a BJP-led political platform of anti-Congress parties, there were expectations that border issues would get resolved. Instead, the situation appears to have become worse. Monday must serve as a wake-up call for the Centre as well as states in the region. Source : ht

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