Updated: August 21, 2020 2:57:49 am
Restrictions over the entry of paramilitary soldiers into Mizoram as a Covid-19 prevention protocol has led to an altercation between the state government and Assam Rifles.
In a press statement, Assam Rifles said, “The Govt of Mizoram denying entry to Armed Forces in the State clearly violates directions of MHA which has serious implication for the National Security and is a cause of grave concern and is not acceptable as the people of Mizoram fear crossing over of Myanmarese nationals on the Indian side and spread of Covid-19 in Mizoram.”
Meanwhile, in a letter to Brig. Vinod S, DIG, 23 Sector Assam Rifles in Mizoram, under secretary in the Home Department of Mizoram, Zahmingthanga, has said 15 personnel of the force refused to comply with entry and medical screening protocol at the border entry point at Vairengte and “forced their way through the check gate into Mizoram in the afternoon” of August 18.
“It is unfortunate that the aforementioned rogue behaviour by the Assam Rifles has occurred at a time when the State is struggling to cope with the high rate of increase of Covid-19 cases and to contain community spread, and hence, is extremely cautious about incoming persons, residents as well as non-residents,” Zahmingthanga wrote in the August 19 letter.
In a letter to PM Narendra Modi on August 2, Chief Minister Zoramthanga had written that the “main hurdle” the state was facing in checking the spread of Covid-19 was the “unrestricted movement” of paramilitary forces.
Zahmingthanga added that between May 1 and August 10, 1,124 personnel of Assam Rifles entered the state and more than 10 per cent of them tested positive. According to data till Thursday, about 40 per cent of the 860 Covid-19 cases in Mizoram are from security forces.
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