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Friday, October 30, 2020

Territory row snowballs into violence at Mizo-Assam border

H Lalthangliana, the DC of Mizoram’s Kolasib district, said three persons have been injured on the the Mizoram side, with one of them critical and under treatment at a hospital.

Written by Abhishek Saha | Guwahati | Updated: October 19, 2020 2:03:03 am
assam mizoram border dispute, assam huts burnt, assam violence, assam border violence, mizoram border, assam news, mizoram border violence, mizoram newsTension prevailed on the Assam-Mizoram border after a violent clash took place between the people of the two states, leaving several injured. (Twitter/Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga)

At least four people were injured and several temporary shops and huts were burnt down in a territory dispute between residents of border districts in Assam and Mizoram on Saturday evening, officials said. They added that both states had approached the Centre regarding the issue.

A press statement by Mizoram Home Department said a video conference will be held on Monday between the Union Home Secretary and Chief Secretaries of Assam and Mizoram.

This is the second such dispute between residents of the two states this month. Saturday’s violence broke out between residents of Lailapur village in Assam’s Cachar district and residents of localities near Vairengte in Mizoram’s Kolasib district.

On Sunday, the Mizoram Cabinet held an emergency meeting over the issue. Chief minister Zoramthanga tweeted, “I sincerely request everyone to maintain peace and to kindly not bypass any administrative proceedings.”

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal Sunday apprised the Prime Minister’s Office and Union Home Ministry about the prevailing situation at the border. Sonowal also spoke over the phone with his Mizoram counterpart Zoramthanga and discussed the issue. He said in a statement that there may be differences but that these must be settled through dialogue.

According to Kolasib Deputy Commissioner H Lalthangliana, three people were injured in the violence. “One of them is critical and is under treatment at a hospital,” Lalthangliana told The Indian Express. He said the violence broke out after some people from Lailapur started pelting stones at Mizoram police personnel deployed near the border and residents in the area.

“In turn, Mizoram residents mobilised and went after them. There is no clear line indicating the Assam-Mizoram border in some areas. According to an agreement between governments of Assam and Mizoram some years ago, status quo should be maintained in no man’s land in the border area. However, people from Lailapur broke the status quo and allegedly constructed some temporary huts. People from Mizoram side went and set fire on them,” he said.

In Assam, Cachar Superintendent of Police BL Meena told The Indian Express, “There is tension right now — but things are under control. One person has been injured on Assam side. There has been no casualty — but fake news is circulating about it on social media.”

Assam ADGP (Law & Order) GP Singh told The Indian Express, “The issue has been taken up with the Government of India. Hopefully, it should be settled soon. Special DGP (Border) has been advised to visit the affected area.”

On October 9, a similar scuffle had broken out on the border of Karimganj (Assam) and Mamit (Mizoram) districts.

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