Assam-Mizoram border row: Tension on; fresh troubles discussed in Assembly

In the second day of the three-day budget session of the Assam Assembly, raising the border issue Congress accused the BJP-led government for not protecting the state’s territory being encroached by Mizoram.
Assam Mizoram Border Row
Assam Mizoram Border Row

Guwahati/Aizawl, Feb 13 : The Assam Assembly on Friday discussed the Assam-Mizoram border disputes even as tension prevailed in the villages along the borders of the two northeastern states following the violent incidents on Tuesday and Wednesday.

According to the southern Assam’s Hailakandi district officials, the prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Cr Pc have been continued on Friday along the bordering areas, in addition to the deployment of a large contingent of security forces in the area.

In fresh trouble along the Assam-Mizoram borders, in a series of incidents at least 10 people were injured and around 20 houses were burnt down by ‘unknown miscreants’ at Kachurthal in Assam’s Hailakandi district adjoining Bairabi in Mizoram’s Kolasib district on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Over 100 people belonging to 20 affected families are staying in the relief camps after their houses were torched by the miscreants.

Additional Director General of Assam Police (border) Mukesh Agrawal and Superintendent of Police of Hailakandi district Pabindra Kumar Nath have been camping in the trouble-torn areas for the past three days.

In the second day of the three-day budget session of the Assam Assembly, raising the border issue Congress accused the BJP-led government for not protecting the state’s territory being encroached by Mizoram.

Attacking the BJP government, Congress MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha said that the BJP came to power in the state in 2016 by promising to protect “jati” (community), “mati” (land) and “bheti” (foundation), but it entirely failed to keep its commitment though it is the time for the state government to take strong actions to save the state’s territory.

“Taking advantage of Assam government’s laxity, after encroaching state’s territory, people of Mizoram had carried some constructions and hoist the flag of their studentsa? organisation,” said Dey Purkayastha, who was supported by another legislator Sujam Uddin Laskar.

Both the MLAs are hailed from southern Assam Barak Valley region. Industry and Commerce Minister and government spokesman Chandra Mohan Patowary replying to the legislators’ observations, said that the state government is fully aware of the border situation.”Assam government doesn’t want any confrontation but cooperation. We had several rounds of discussions earlier with the Mizoram government. We would discuss the matter again with the Mizoram government to resolve the issue cordially,” the Minister said.

The Deputy Commissioner of Hailakandi district, Megh Nidhi Dahal, said that they are investigating all aspects of the incident. aceWe are providing relief and other assistance to the affected families.

Senior district and police officials are camping in the area since Tuesday,” Dahal told IANS over phone from Hailakandi.

An Assam police official said that the fresh troubles began on Tuesday when some people from Mizoram objected and attacked the civilians on our side after the PWD department had undertaken repair work of a road in Kachurthal village along the Assam-Mizoram inter-state border.

Some miscreants burnt down at least 20 houses on Tuesday night, but fortunately the people inside managed to escape, the official said.A Mizoram police officer in Aizawl, however, said that two employees of Mizoram power and electricity department and a member of Bairabi village council were thrashed by the local people from Assam territory after they had gone for a survey in the bordering area.

Since October last year, several inter-state border skirmishes have taken place along the Assam-Mizoram borders and over 50 people were injured and more than 25 houses and shops had been set on fire on the Assam side.

Following the intervention of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, top Home Ministry officials and Chief Ministers of the two states, Central para-military troopers were deployed along the Assam-Mizoram inter-state borders to prevent fresh troubles after a series of clashes and blockades on the National Highway 306.

The National Highway (NH) 306, the lifeline of Mizoram, connects the mountainous northeastern state with the rest of the country via southern Assam.Three districts of Mizoram – Aizawl, Kolasib and Mamit – share a 164.6 km inter-state border with southern Assam’s Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts.

The tension along the two northeastern states had intensified after a bomb blast at an Assam government school in October last year and the alleged abduction of 48-year-old Intyaz Ali from Lailapur and his subsequent death in the Mizoram government’s custody on November 2, prompting the local residents to agitate.

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