The Mizoram government has, for the first time, expressed regret over the death of six Assam policemen and the Assam government has said it will likely cancel an advisory warning against travel to the neighbouring state. These announcements follow talks between the two to de-escalate tensions following last month's border flare-up. Around 45 people, including 10 from Mizoram, were also injured in clashes that erupted in border areas of the two states last month over an old boundary dispute.
"Assam will most likely revoke the travel advisory (warning) not to travel to Mizoram," minister Atul Bora, who was part of the talks that were held in Mizoram capital Aizawl today, said.
Assam and Mizoram have also agreed to take forward an initiative by the centre to remove tension in border areas and find a lasting solution to the dispute, a joint statement read.
They have further agreed to central forces acting as a neutral body to keep peace in the border areas. The two have decided they will not send their forces to areas where the conflict took place.
"Both Assam and Mizoram have decided not to send forest or police forces for patrolling, area domination, enforcement or any fresh deployment to any area where confrontation and conflict had taken place," the joint statement said.
"We have verbally agreed that we will have talks at least once a month at the district level in the border areas and try to resolve issues locally and peacefully," said Mizoram Home Minister Lalchimliana.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and his Mizoram counterpart, Zoramthanga, are hoping to find a solution to the long-standing border dispute between the two northeastern states.
Three districts of Barak Valley in southern Assam - Hailakandi, Cachar and Karimganj - share 165-km border with three districts of Mizoram - Mamit, Kolasib and Aizawl - and there have been disputes at five locations along this stretch.
A 500 square km area between Lailapur in Cachar and Vairengte in Kolasib is the most volatile, witnessing two major incidents of violence and sporadic skirmishes since October last year.
The two states have been at odds for decades. The July clashes were over alleged construction by Mizoram in a 198 square mile area along the inter-state border - Lailapur under Dhalai of Cachar district in southern Assam and Vairengte in Kolasib district of northern Mizoram.