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Assam man dies in Mizoram custody, CM Sonowal writes to Amit Shah over border tension

According to Assam officials, Intazul Laskar was a woodcutter without any criminal record, while Mizoram officials maintain he was involved in peddling drugs. His death comes weeks after clashes between residents of border villages of Assam and Mizoram.

Written by Abhishek Saha | Guwahati | November 3, 2020 2:13:09 am
editors guild of india, assam press freedom, press freedom in india, editors guild letter assam, latest news, assam newsAssam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. (PTI)

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal wrote to Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday after a man hailing from Cachar district died in the custody of Mizoram authorities after he was allegedly abducted from the inter-state border.

According to Assam officials, Intazul Laskar was a woodcutter without any criminal record, while Mizoram officials maintain he was involved in peddling drugs. His death comes weeks after clashes between residents of border villages of Assam and Mizoram.

Sonowal in a statement said that Laskar was “abducted by the miscreants from Lailapur Border Outpost area of Cachar district”. The statement said that “following the sequel of boundary rows along Assam-Mizoram border, Chief Minister Sonowal sent the details of the incidents to Union Home Minister Amit Shah today”.

The statement, however, did not mention the contents of the letter to Shah.

The CM has also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to Laskar’s next of kin and asked Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua and DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta to visit the border area and take stock of the situation.

Cachar SP B L Meena told The Indian Express, “He (Laskar) used to collect wood from a forest along the border… As far as we know, he was in custody of Mizoram. Mizoram Police has informed us today that he has died.” He added that Laskar did not have a criminal record in the district.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner of Mizoram’s Kolasib district, H Lalthangliana, told The Indian Express, “I have ordered a judicial enquiry into the death. The man was allegedly a drug peddler and we have found a small amount of heroin on his person. Some locals had apprehended him on the Mizoram side and handed over to personnel from the Excise and Narcotics department. He was admitted to the hospital because he was weak. No external inquiry has been found on the body.”

Lalthangliana said the body will be handed over to Assam on Tuesday after the completion of the judicial enquiry and conducting the post-mortem.— With PTI inputs

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