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Assam and Mizoram border dispute

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Six police personnel from Assam were killed today after the violence broke out at the disputed Assam-Mizoram border. The boundary issue between Assam and Mizoram has existed since the formation of Mizoram– first as a union territory in 1972, and then as a full fledged state in 1987.

The boundary dispute between today’s Assam and Mizoram dates back to the colonial era when the inner lines were demarcated according to administrative needs of the British Raj. During colonial times, Mizoram was known as Lushai Hills, a district of Assam.

The two notifications were passed during the British era, which are the root cause of Assam-Mizoram border dispute. First, notification of 1875, that differentiated Lushai Hills from the plains of Cachar, a district of Assam. Second, notification of 1933, that differentiated boundary between Lushai Hills and Manipur. Mizoram believes the boundary should be demarcated on the basis of the 1875 notification while Assam Government follows the 1933 demarcation. As a result both states continue to have a differing perception of the border and that is the point of conflict.

Boundary disputes between the states are one of major reasons for Inter-state disputes in India. Boundary disputes between the states can be settled by using satellite mapping of the actual border locations. Under Article 263 of the Constitution, the Inter-state council is expected to inquire and advise on disputes, discuss subjects common to all states and make recommendations for better policy coordination. India is the epitome of unity in diversity. However, in order to strengthen this unity furthermore, both the centre and state governments, need to imbibe the ethos of cooperative federalism.

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