Updated: August 23, 2021 8:06:59 pm
Noting a “grave violation of human rights”, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Sunday issued notices to the Centre, Assam and Mizoram governments over the interstate border clashes between the two northeastern states on July 26, in which six Assam Police personnel were killed.
In a letter addressed to the Union home secretary and the chief secretaries of Assam and Mizoram, the commission said it was acting on a complaint dated July 30, 2021 from one Md. Injamul Haque from Assam’s Kamrup district, who had made allegations of an “attack on senior police officers, officers of district administration and others” of Assam by a “mob and Mizoram police”.
“Facts of the case are disturbing. The allegations made in the complaint are serious in nature involving deaths and injuries to the public servants. The case therefore involves grave violation of Human Rights of the deceased and injured. Such types of cases are viewed very seriously by the Commission,” the letter stated.
The age-old boundary dispute between Assam and Mizoram took a violent turn last month along the Lailapur (Cachar)-Vairengte (Mizoram) border, killing six policemen and injuring scores, including the SP Cachar district Vaibhav Nimbalkar, who sustained a bullet injury at the hip. He was later airlifted to Mumbai for treatment.
Haque, a Guwahati-based law student, said he filed the complaint on July 30, four days after the incident.
“I have no personal links to the case but I filed the complaint purely on humanitarian grounds. There should be some legal action…considering so many officers got killed,” said Haque, 21.
In the letter, he alleged that in the incident on July 26, the Assam officials “were surrounded and attacked by a mob of miscreants from the Mizoram side, which was visibly supported by the Mizoram Police”.
“The aggressive behaviour and posture of this mob along with the fact that they were brandishing weapons and wearing helmets is clearly seen in all available video footage” he added in the letter.
He also alleged that the Mizoram Police had “opened fire” on the Assam officials and civilians from “two dominating high features” with “automatic weapons including Light Machine Guns (LMGs).”
The NHRC has asked the concerned parties to submit a report within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt, after which the matter will be put up before the full commission.
After the incident, tensions de-escalated gradually with the Centre intervening and deploying neutral forces. On August 5, representatives of both states met in Aizawl to discuss the issue. After the meeting, the states issued a joint statement saying they would maintain peace along the border.
Recently, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma handed out appointment letters to the kin of six policemen who had died in the clashes. The families were earlier given Rs 50 lakh as ex-gratia and the “martyrs” were posthumously awarded the ‘Chief Minister’s Special Service Medal in a crisis situation’ on the country’s 75th Independence Day.
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