The 50-year-old tension along the Assam-Mizoram border over land encroachment claims has escalated, leading to the possibility of deployment of central forces there.

Sporadic incidents of violence have been reported along the 164.6 km border over a month with both states accusing the other of encroaching into their territory.

In the latest flare-up over this issue, Mizoram accused the Cachar district administration and the Assam Police of burning down crops and huts of farmers residing at the border.

Mizoram Agriculture Minister Pu C. Lalrinsanga condemned the action.

"It is a despicable act to destroy a person's livelihood," he posted, adding that Mizoram's agriculture department will lend full support to farmers at the border." 

"425 quintals of potato seeds provided to farmers in Kolasib & Mamit. Rs 7 crore has been sanctioned by NABARD to develop cultivable lands at the border," the Mizoram agriculture minister further said.

An attempt to defuse the tensions was undertaken on Wednesday when a high-level meeting was held in Silchar between deputy commissioners of Assam's Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts, which share a border with Kolasib, Mamit and Aizawl districts of Mizoram.

After the meeting, Assam chief secretary Jishnu Barua said: "We cannot choose our neighbours. We will have to live peacefully with them, but we also cannot let anyone lay claim on our land. We know it is our area as per the constitutional boundary. We have no two opinions on that."

Baruah also indicated that the Centre may deploy some forces soon so that the peace could be restored in these areas.

The 50-year-old territorial dispute

Mizoram was carved out of Assam in 1972, when it became a separate Union Territory. In 1987, it became a full-fledged state. 

The three South Assam districts of Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj share a 164.6 kilometre-long border with Mizoram’s Kolasib, Mamit and Aizawl districts.
Mizoram insists that a 509-square-mile stretch of the inner-line reserve forest notified in 1875 is the actual boundary of Mizoram with Assam. 

Several rounds of dialogue, at various levels, since 1994 have failed to resolve the disagreement.

Recent flare-ups along the border areas:

October 17:  Clashes erupt in border areas with around 20 shops and houses were burnt and more than 50 people injured in attacks

October 30: Hundreds of trucks carrying essential supplies to Mizoram were once again stranded on National Highway 306 after residents on Assam side stop movement of vehicles to Mizoram demanding withdrawal of forces allegedly four kilometre inside Assam territory.

November 2: Intazul Laskar, a 48-year-old resident of Lailapur in Assam's Cachar district, dies at a hospital in Vairengte of Mizoram’s Kolasib district on 2 November. Assam claimed that Laskar was "abducted" by miscreants from the Lailapur border outpost area. Mizoram police claim Laskar was a 'drug peddler'