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India’s Assam state set to deploy 4,000 commandos as border tensions continue to simmer

THE Indian state of Assam is set to deploy 4,000 commandos to its border with Mizoram state after six police officers were killed in clashes over disputed territory.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma confirmed on Tuesday that the “new commando battalion” would be mobilised as tensions between the neighbouring states simmer.

More than 60 people were injured in clashes on Monday as the leaders of the two states remain at loggerheads over a decades-long border dispute.

Mizoram was a part of Assam until an administrative split in 1972, and became a state in its own right in 1986.

The Indian government has been trying to mediate a peace deal between the two since 1994 without success.

Recent tensions escalated when Assam started an “eviction drive” in the contested area, burning a farmhouse and agricultural land.

The Mizoram government responded by deploying troops in areas that Assam claims are part of its territory.

Mr Sarma said that his government was planning to petition the Supreme Court to ensure that “not an inch of reserve forest is encroached upon.”

But Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga claimed it was Assam’s police who fired the first shots and harmed civilians as they took over a border post.

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