Centre steps in to halt Assam-Mizoram border clashes

Violent clashes have left several persons injured

Published - October 19, 2020 07:22 pm IST - New Delhi

Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla. File Photo.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla. File Photo.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked Assam and Mizoram to maintain peace and display “no aggressive posturing” after violent clashes took place at the border between the two States on Saturday night.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla held a video conference with the chief secretaries of Mizoram and Assam on Monday and reviewed the situation.

Also Read | Tension at Assam-Mizoram border as many hurt in violent clash

The two States were asked to provide security to trucks and goods vehicles passing through the inter-State border so that supply of essentials was not blocked in Mizoram.

Assam has had a boundary dispute with Mizoram for decades and several rounds of talks have been held since 1994-95 to solve the issue. Till 1972, Mizoram was a part of Assam and acquired full statehood in 1987.

The 164.6 km-long border between the States runs along Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts in Assam and Kolasib, Mamit and Aizawl districts in Mizoram. There are several border areas where violence have been reported.

Saturday’s clashes were reported near Vairengte village in Kolasib district of Mizoram and Assam’s Lailapur in Cachar district. The Mizoram government claimed that some miscreants pelted stones at a group. A large number of persons gathered and set fire to about 20 temporary bamboo sheds said to be in Assam’s jurisdiction. Section 144 was imposed and a large number of security personnel were deployed in the area. Several persons were injured.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal tweeted on Monday that he had apprised Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the present “Assam-Mizoram border situation over phone this afternoon.”

“I thank the Hon'ble PM for his support and assurance to solve the issue,” Mr. Sonowal said.

Assam’s Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) G.P Singh said no incident has been reported in the area since Saturday night.

“Situation is under control now. Movement of trucks has started, both States have been asked to provide security to trucks...as of now the road (highway) is open, there is no blockade,” Mr. Singh said.

The office of Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga tweeted, “ Hon'ble Home Minister @AmitShah, DoNER Minister @DrJitendraSingh, Home Secretary & others have telephoned HCM @ZoramthangaCM regarding the situation in Mizoram's border. They expressed support of the CM's wish for peaceful resolve of the situation.”

On Sunday, Mr. Zoramthanga had called an emergency Cabinet meet. A statement issued after the meeting said the Cabinet “expressed regret over the unilateral and provocative acts of disturbing public peace and harmony in the border areas at three locations — Thinglun, Saihapui, V and Vairengte of Mizoram — by the district administrations of Cachar and Karimganj districts and expects that government of Assam will take urgent measures to restore normalcy in these areas.”

It also accused Assam of blocking inter-State highways thereby affecting the supply of essential commodities into the State.

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