Recently, the Assam-Mizoram border disputes turned violent and at least five Assam’s police personnel died in the clash and several were injured. The incident raised several questions, such as who is accountable for the violence and police personnel’s death. Both the state’s governments are blaming each other for the incident.
The Central government has talked to both Chief Ministers to control the violent\ce and maintain peace in the region.
When we hear about border disputes, we usually think that it will be about the dispute with a neighbouring country, but there are currently several inter-states border disputes in the country. Assam has the maximum number of inter-state border disputes. They have border disputes with Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland.
Arunachal Pradesh, formerly known as North-East Frontier Agency, was annexed to Assam until it became a Union Territory in 1972. Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland were carved out of Assam between 1963 and 1972
Assam and Mizoram are fighting for 193 square miles of disputed land. The dispute originated from the notification of 1875 made by THE British that differentiated the Lushai hills (today’s Kolasib district, Mizoram) from the Barak valley plains (today’s Cachar district, Assam) and another notification of 1933 that demarcates a border between the Lushai Hills and the princely state of Manipur (now part of Jiribam and Pherzawl districts in Manipur).
The Assam-Meghalaya border dispute has claimed four lives. The issue began when Meghalaya challenged the Assam Reorganisation Act of 1971, which gave Blocks I and II of the Mikir Hills or present-day Karbi Anglong district to Assam. Meghalaya claimed that both these blocks formed part of the erstwhile United Khasi and Jaintia Hills district when it was notified in 1835.
The Assam-Nagaland border dispute is the most violent dispute in the subcontinent, with 136 reported deaths. The dispute began just after Nagaland became a state in 1963. Nagaland does not accept the boundary delineation and says the border deprives them of their rightful claim to the plains and demands that it have all Naga-dominated areas in North Cachar and Nagaon districts.
The Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border dispute has claimed 10 lives. The latter has an objection that the re-organisation of North Eastern states unilaterally transferred several forested tracts in the plains to Assam that had traditionally belonged to hill tribal chiefs and communities.
After Arunachal Pradesh achieved statehood in 1987, a tripartite committee was appointed, recommending certain territories be transferred from Assam to Arunachal. Assam challenged this and the matter is before the Supreme Court.
Maharashtra and Karnataka have a decades-old border dispute over Belgaum or Belagavi. Belgaum has a sizable population of both Marathi and Kannada speaking people. Maharashtra claimed that more than 800 villages in two Karnataka border districts, Gulbarga and Belgaum, have a majority of Marathi speaking population and should have been part of the state.
The border dispute began when the State Reorganisation Act of 1956 made Belgaum and 10 talukas of Bombay state (modern-day Maharashtra) a part of the then Mysore state (modern-day Karnataka).
The government of India had constituted a commission in 1966 under the chairmanship of former Chief Justice of India Mehr Chand Mahajan at the insistence of the Maharashtra government to resolve the issue. The Commission recommended that 264 villages be transferred to Maharashtra and 247 villages remain with Karnataka but rejected the merger of Belgaum.
In 2006, the Maharashtra government filed a petition in the Supreme Court staking claim over Belgaum city. The Karnataka government has proposed making Belgaum the second capital of Karnataka. Hence, a second state administrative building Suvarna Vidhana Soudha was inaugurated in Belgaum.
Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh have a land dispute over the Sarchu, a region between Himachal Pradesh’s Lahaul and Spiti district and Ladakh’s Leh district.
In July 2014, the then Jammu and Kashmir police set up a check post at Sarchu. Himachal Pradesh raised objections against the Jammu and Kashmir police action and called for settlement of the dispute. The boundary at Sarchu had been drawn in 1871 by the British rulers.
Haryana and Himachal Pradesh have a border dispute over the Parwanoo region (currently in Himachal Pradesh), which lies next to the Panchkula district of Haryana. Haryana has claimed a large part of that region as its own.