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Assam-Mizoram border dispute

Topics Covered: Internal security related issues.

Assam-Mizoram border dispute:


Earlier in June this year, two abandoned houses along the Mizoram-Assam border were burned down by unidentified persons, fuelling tension along the volatile inter-state border.

  • Now, early a month after this incident, the border dispute between the two neighbouring states has cropped up again, with both accusing each other of encroaching on their respective territories.


Immediate cause for the dispute:

According to the Mizoram side, people from Assam have violated the status quo – as agreed upon between the two State governments a few years ago – in “no man’s land” to trigger the present crisis.


About the dispute:

  • Mizoram was carved out of Assam as a Union Territory in 1972 and by 1987, it became a full-fledged state.
  • The two states have sparred over this 164.6 km long inter-state border over the past, sometimes leading to violent clashes.

The dispute stems from two notifications passed under British era:

  1. First, notification of 1875, that differentiated Lushai Hills from the plains of Cachar.
  2. Second, notification of 1933, that demarcates a boundary between Lushai Hills and Manipur.


What are the present claims?

  • Mizoram claims that the land is theirs is based on an 1875 notification, which came from the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act of 1873.
  • Assam for its part, claims that the land is theirs. It goes by a 1933 notification by the state government that demarcated the Lushai Hills, which Mizoram was formerly known as, from the province of Manipur.

During colonial times, Mizoram was known as Lushai Hills, a district of Assam.


What leads to these clashes?

The border between the two neighbouring states is an imaginary line that changes with the natural obstacles of rivers, hills, valleys and forests. People of Assam and Mizoram have attributed the border conflicts to the differences over this not-so-clear boundary. Hence, often people living in the border areas cross over to the other side as they are not fully aware of the border demarcation.



Insta Curious: 

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Prelims Link:

  1. About the dispute.
  2. Geographical locations and boundaries of North Eastern States.
  3. The Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act of 1873.
  4. Lushai Hills and the plains of Cachar.

Sources: Indian Express.