Amid Assam-Mizoram border row, goons trigger blast in Assam school

Union Home Minister Amit Shah also spoke to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga to normalise the situation.
Assam Mizoram
Assam Mizoram

Aizawl/Silchar, Nov 7: Amid the 11 day long Assam-Mizoram inter-state border dispute, tension intensified along the border after miscreants triggered a blast at a government school in Cachar district of southern Assam, police said.

A senior Assam police official said that the miscreants “belonging to Mizoram” triggered a bomb blast at the Upper Painom Lower Primary school after Friday midnight causing massive damage to the school.

However, there were no casualties as the incident took place at around 1.30 a.m. when the school was deserted.

Cachar district Deputy Commissioner Kirti Jalli and Superintendent of Police Bhanwar Lal Meena on Saturday went to the school and interacted with the locals.

Southern Assam’s Deputy Inspector General of Police Dilip Kumar Dey told IANS over phone that the matter was communicated to Mizoram police as the miscreants belong to the neighbouring state.

Meanwhile, normal life was crippled on Saturday in three southern Assam districts — Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi — as the All Cachar Karimganj Hailakandi Students Association called a 12-hour Barak Valley shutdown to protest against the abduction of a man from Lailapur border area of Cachar district along the Assam-Mizoram border and his subsequent death in the Mizoram government’s custody on Monday.

While Assam police officials stated that he died at the hands of miscreants on the other side of the border, Mizoram Home Secretary Lalbiaksangi said that 48-year-old Intyaz Ali was apprehended with drugs and he was found dead at a hospital on Monday after he was referred to the health centre for a medical check up.

Police said that educational institutions, government offices, banks and various financial institutions, shops and markets remained closed and vehicles went off the roads due to the dawn to dusk strike, which passed off peacefully.

Both the states have now decided to deploy Central Paramilitary Force (CPMF) personnel at the border.

“We are hopeful that the inter-state border troubles would be tamed after the deployment of the CPMF,” Assam Home Secretary Gyanendra Dev Tripathi told the media in Guwahati.

The blockade on the National Highway (NH) 306, the lifeline of Mizoram, continued for the 11th day on Saturday while Mizoram has refused to withdraw its forces until the situation gets back to normal.

Meanwhile, a Mizoram government statement said that the state Home Secretary in a letter to the Union Home Ministry, informed that her government would deploy the CRPF to escort stranded vehicles from Mizoram up to the inter-state border, provided that reciprocal measures are taken by Assam simultaneously to escort all the stranded vehicles by CPMF personnel up to the border.

Due to the blockade along NH 306 at Lailapur, over 250 Mizoram bound goods laden vehicles are stuck as the local agitators and vehicle drivers refuse to budge unless Mizoram withdraws its security personnel from Assam and provides security for the movement of vehicles in Mizoram.

Continuing since October 9, the tense situation along the 164.6-km Assam-Mizoram border took an ugly turn when around 20 shops and houses were burnt and over 50 people sustained injuries in attacks and counter-attacks by people on either side on October 17.

The situation was normalised after a series of meetings and the central government’s intervention.

Union Home Ministry’s Joint Secretary (North East), Satyendra Kumar Garg also held meetings in Silchar and Aizawl.However, the inter-state border trouble resurfaced after a fortnight on October 28 along Assam’s Cachar and Karimganj, which abut Mizoram’s Mamit and Kolasib.

In another development, two farmers, who were kidnapped “by the people belonging to Mizoram” while they were working in their paddy field at Tulartal village on October 29, returned to their village the next day.

Assam Environment and Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya, who hails from southern Assam, visited the trouble-torn areas several times while Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla twice held meetings through video conferencing with the Chief Secretaries of Assam and Mizoram.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah also spoke to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga to normalise the situation.

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