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Indian state set to deploy 4,000 commandos after border clashes

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Assam forces are seen in the Assam-Mizoram border in northeast India in July 2021. (File photo by AFP)

India's Assam State is planning to deploy 4,000 commandos in order to guard its border with the rival state of Mizoram, following deadly clashes between the neighboring states, which have led to the death of six police officers.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told reporters in Silchar Town on Tuesday that the "new commando battalion" would be deployed to the borderline with Mizoram State.

The leaders of two states, which have been wrangling about their border for decades, have been accusing each other of encroaching on one another's territory. In clashes over a territorial dispute on the state border on Monday, more than 60 people were injured.

Federal Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah has tried to quell the dispute, which heightened last month, but a solution does not appear to be imminent.

Sarma warned that his government was planning to petition the Supreme Court to ensure "not an inch of reserve forest is encroached upon."

On the other side, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga has accused Assam police forces of firing the first shots in the Monday clash, adding that they had forcibly taken over a border post and assaulted unarmed civilians.

Mizoram was a part of Assam until 1972, when it was split up, and then in 1986 became a state in its own right.

Borders between the seven states in the far-flung and resource-rich northeastern region of India are not clearly demarcated and there are ethnic tensions or regular disputes over land and assets.

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