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Indian states to resolve border row after deadly clash

Assam and Mizoram chief ministers tweet that they will seek an 'amicable' approach to the dispute

AFP, New Delhi

AFP, New Delhi

Published: August 02, 2021 07:51 AM GMT

Updated: August 02, 2021 07:58 AM GMT

Indian states to resolve border row after deadly clash

Assam police patrol a road during a Covid-19 lockdown in Guwahati on June 11. (Photo: AFP)

Two states in India's northeast have agreed to resolve their differences peacefully after their long-running border dispute erupted into deadly violence last week.

Clashes on the demarcation line between Assam and Mizoram on July 26 left six police officers dead in a major embarrassment for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.

The two regions' chief ministers tweeted on Aug. 1 that they would now seek an "amicable" approach to the dispute.

Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga urged locals to stop posting "sensitive messages" on social media while his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma highlighted the "spirit of the northeast."

"What happened along the Assam-Mizoram border is unacceptable to the people of both states ... Border disputes can only be resolved through discussion," Sarma tweeted.

Six Assam policemen were shot dead in the clashes that also left 60 people injured. Both states have blamed each other for the violence which erupted after Mizoram alleged Assam had encroached on its territory.

Mizoram was part of Assam until 1972 and became a state in its own right in 1987

Assam in turn accused Mizoram villagers of encroaching instead on reserve forest land.

Sarma belongs to Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) while Zoramthanga, who uses only one name, heads the Mizo National Front, an ally of the ruling BJP alliance.

Mizoram was part of Assam until 1972 and became a state in its own right in 1987. The border argument has been going on since then with sporadic violence.

Indian media on Aug. 2 said the government might rely on satellite mapping to define the boundaries to help settle the dispute and others in the region.

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