The Home Ministry will today meet senior Assam and Mizoram officials - chief secretaries and DGPs (Director General of Police) - in the wake of violence along the states' shared border on Monday that claimed the lives of six policemen and injured over 50 people.
Home Ministry Secretary Ajay Bhalla will chair the meeting that will discuss the border dispute and sudden escalation of violence. The meeting will, it is hoped, be the first step towards restoring a degree of peace along the Assam-Mizoram border, where an uneasy calm holds for now.
The centre has said it can only facilitate a settlement in case of border disputes between states, underlining that these can only be resolved with the co-operation of the concerned governments.
There are seven such disputes, and Assam is involved in four of these. In addition to Mizoram, the northeastern state has border disputes with Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Meghalaya.
Three districts in Assam's Barak Valley - Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi - share a 164 km border with three in Mizoram - Aizawl, Kolasib and Mamit.
A dawn-to-dusk bandh has been called in the entire Barak Valley region in Assam, with the Barak Democratic Front (a local political outfit) demanding a permanent solution to the border row.
Violence broke out in these areas on Monday, with each side accusing the other.
Assam accused Mizoram of building a road through a protected forest in Lailapur and setting up an armed camp. It said its security personnel were attacked by miscreants and later, Mizoram police.
Mizoram said the violence started after Assam Police crossed the border and "over-ran" a police post at Kolasib, as well as damaging vehicles and opened fire on its police.
A member of Assam's 6th Police Battalion, who was critically injured in the clashes, died this morning, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted.
An uneasy calm has settled over the border areas since the violence, which was followed by appeals from both chief ministers to Home Minister Amit Shah. The violence took place two days after Mr Shah met all eight northeastern chief minsters Ministers in Shillong.
The CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) has increased deployment in these regions, with five companies (total of 500 troops) standing between the police forces of Assam and Mizoram.
Another two companies are on standby.
An Assam Congress delegation is expected to visit the border areas today.
The border areas in question have seen clashes for decades, with the locals and security forces on each side accusing the other of intrusion. The last incident was reported in June.