Other States

Assam Rifles asked to shift base from Aizawl

Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga has asked the Assam Rifles to shift its base from the heart of State capital Aizawl to Zokhawsang about 15 km away at the earliest besides stepping up vigil along the border with Myanmar to check drug trafficking. One of the battalions of the Assam Rifles, India’s oldest paramilitary force established in 1835 as the Cachar Levy, had moved to the State capital in 2019.

The Mizo National Front government had in 1988 asked the Assam Rifles to shift from Aizawl after the killing of 12 civilians in an “encounter”.

The party returned to power in 2018.

A Mizoram government spokesperson said on Thursday that the issue of shifting was taken up a day earlier at a meeting between Mr. Zoramthanga and Lt. Gen. Sukhdeep Sangwan, the Director General of Assam Rifles (DGAR), besides easingthe stand-off over the force’s alleged violation of COVID-19 protocols and boycott of the Independence Day celebration. The DGAR also met Mizoram’s Chief Secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo over the ongoing cold war.

The stand-off between the Mizoram government and the Assam Rifles began on August 18, when 15 personnel of the force’s 46th Battalion allegedly forced their way into the State ignoring COVID-19 safety protocols.

Complaint to MHA

On August 24, Mr. Chuaungo wrote to the Home Ministry complaining about the alleged violation and the I-Day “boycott” by the paramilitary force.

Shifting of Assam Rifles bases from urban centres in the Northeast has been a sentimental issue, as the paramilitary force is seen as a reminder of many a conflict.

A long-pending demand in Manipur was fulfilled in November 2004 when the Assam Rifles moved out of Imphal’s Kangla Fort, from where Manipuri kings ruled for 2,000 years. The paramilitary force had occupied the fort for 113 years.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 4:02:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/assam-rifles-asked-to-shift-base-from-aizawl/article32518218.ece

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