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Saturday, October 24, 2020

Mizoram objects to temple construction at disputed border with Tripura

In a letter to Tripura Home Secretary B K Sahu, Mizoram Home Secretary Lalbiaksangi said any activity at the “disputed” inter-state boundary could result in law and order problems, and sought “immediate and indefinite” stoppage of all work in the area.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala | Updated: October 11, 2020 5:50:39 am
With local community activities going on at Phuldungsei, Mizoram has reiterated the border dispute and sought indefinite status quo.

The scenic border village at the centre of the jurisdictional row between Mizoram and Tripura is now the site of a fresh flashpoint. This time, the government of Mizoram has objected to the construction of a temple as well as “community work” by a tribal group from the neighbouring state near Phuldungsei village, situated on the Jampui hills.

In a letter to Tripura Home Secretary B K Sahu, Mizoram Home Secretary Lalbiaksangi said any activity at the “disputed” inter-state boundary could result in law and order problems, and sought “immediate and indefinite” stoppage of all work in the area.

“….report has been received by the Government of Mizoram regarding attempts by SONGRONGMA [a Bru organisation] of Tripura to construct a mandir at the disputed inter-state border village near Phuldungsei at Thaidawr tlang, Mamit district. It is also reported that community work is proposed to be organized on 19th and 20th October, 2020. Since any activities within the disputed inter-state border can result in law & order problems, it is requested to kindly intervene and issue necessary instructions to the concerned District Administration for the immediate and indefinite stoppage of the proposed construction”, says the letter, a copy of which has been seen by The Indian Express.

Significantly, Bru forums have been demanding that they be resettled at Phuldungsei and nearby areas.

In August, The Indian Express had reported on the jurisdictional row over the remote village, which has a predominantly Mizo population of about 1,064 people. Authorities in Tripura had flagged that the village council was included in Mizoram’s electoral rolls.

Chandni Chandran, Sub-divisional magistrate of Tripura’s Kanchanpur — under which Phuldungsei falls — had on August 17 wrote to the North Tripura DM: “…Traditional Phuldungsei VC as a whole (despite Eastern side falling in Mizoram) has been accepted as a part of Tripura. Hence, the inclusion of the VC and its residents in Mizoram electoral rolls seems to be problematic. There is an urgent need to demarcate the exact boundary between Mizoram and Tripura incorporating the entire Phuldungsei VC in Tripura.”

Tripura had also found that around 130 villagers in Phuldungsei village, registered in the voting rolls of both Tripura and Mizoram, had double ration cards and enjoyed public welfare benefits from both states.

Both states had then agreed on a joint survey to settle the dispute.

In light of the fresh development at Phuldungsei, Mizoram has sought an indefinite status quo on the matter. No Tripura government official was available for comment.

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