Border face-off on, Assam to deploy central forces

Quoting Ali’s family members, Assam Police, however, said that Ali went to jungle to collect firewood and the Mizoram Police detained him.
Assam Mizoram Border Row
Assam Mizoram Border Row

Aizawl/Silchar (Assam): As the the 8-day-long impasse along the Assam-Mizoram border continued on Wednesday, the Assam government has decided to deploy Central Paramilitary Force (CPMF) troopers along the inter-state border, a top official said.

Assams Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua, accompanied by Director General of Police Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta, told the media in southern Assam that the CPMF units are arriving in the state in a day or two.

“A notification for the deployment of CPMF has been issued and as and when the forces come, they would be deployed along the border areas in Cachar and Karimganj districts. When the forces come, there would be peace on both sides (of the border),” he said.

The two top officials, who rushed to southern Assam on Tuesday on the directions of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and held a series of meetings during the past two days with the Cachar Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Southern Assam Range, Dilip Kumar Dey, and the Cachar and Karimganj police chiefs.

The Chief Secretary said the Assam is “absolutely clear” as to the constitutional boundary of the state and that is clearly defined by law.

“We are absolutely clear as to our constitutional boundary is. And that is clearly defined by the Mizoram Act of 1986 (the Constitutional amendment giving Mizoram statehood)…. No one had any doubts as to what was the constitutional boundary.

“Our official stand is that the constitutional boundary of Assam is sacrosanct and we will stick to that. Certain elements, some non-state players are playing a major part in stoking the fire of differences and disputes. There are various ways through which boundaries can be altered by following Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution,” he said.

Barua and Mahanta told the media at Silchar that Assam would not budge from an inch of its territory.

On the other hand, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga met leaders of Vairengte Joint Village Councils on the issue of inter-state borders.

“The Chief Minister listened to the issues raised by the local leaders of Vairengte area, and assured that all efforts are taken by the government to ensure normalcy in the area. He also met the leaders of the Central Young Mizo Association separately where they discussed developments taken up in the area,” an official release said.

The tension had intensified after a man from Assam died in custody in Mizoram.

Assam Environment and Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya earlier said that the state government is mulling to hand over the case of death of 48-year-old Intyaz Ali to the National Investigation Agency.

Mizoram Home Secretary Lalbiaksangi had that Ali, a resident of southern Assam’s Lailapur, was detained in the state’s Kolasib district on Sunday with drugs and he was then referred to a health centre for a checkup but was found dead on Monday.

Quoting Ali’s family members, Assam Police, however, said that Ali went to jungle to collect firewood and the Mizoram Police detained him.

Mizoram, meanwhile, raised the issue of the blockade on the NH 306 – the border state’s lifeline – continuing despite assurance from Assam government during the virtual meeting held under the chairmanship of Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla last week.

Due to the blockade at Lailapur, over 250 Mizoram bound goods-laden vehicles are stuck as the agitators refuse to budge unless Mizoram withdraws its security personnel from Assam.

Lingering since October 9, the 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 the attacks and counter-attacks by people on either side on October 17.The trouble resurfaced on October 28.

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