Other States

Fresh unrest on Assam-Mizoram border

The boundary dispute between Assam and Mizoram has flared up again after a brief lull.

Locals in southern Assam’s Cachar and Karimganj districts on Wednesday blocked the roads to Mizoram to leave more than 100 goods-laden trucks stranded. The blockade to protest the alleged refusal of Mizoram Police personnel to withdraw from Assam’s territory continued on Thursday.

Officials in Assam said people of Mizoram, allegedly backed by local authorities and NGOs, have encroached upon large swathes of area in Cachar and Karimganj districts. The two States share a 164.6 km border.

“We are trying to defuse the tension after locals made the non-withdrawal of Mizoram Police from Assam territory an issue. Our officials are on the job trying to convince them,” Cachar’s Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli said.

Officials in southern Assam said the Mizoram Police had promised to withdraw a week ago, following which trucks carrying essentials started moving on National Highway 306, the lifeline of Mizoram.

The fresh unrest made Assam’s Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) G.P. Singh visit the border area on Wednesday. He discussed ways to de-escalate tension with the local authorities on either side of the border, including Vanlalfaka Ralte, the Superintendent of Police of Mizoram’s Kolasib district adjoining Assam.

“Our investigation shows miscreants from Mizoram could be involved in the violence and arson along the border. Since the cases are under the purview of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, we have decided to transfer the probe to a Central agency,” he said.

Officials in Mizoram said the governments of the two States were trying to find a way to ensure peace along the border.

The situation on the border took an ugly turn on October 17 after some 20 shops and houses were burnt and more than 50 people injured in attacks and counter-attacks by people on either side. A Bengali medium school was later bombed.

Meanwhile, the indefinite economic blockade from Thursday, called by traders, transporters and local NGOs in Assam against Meghalaya, has been called off. This followed a meeting between the Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police of western Assam’s Goalpara and Meghayala’s North Garo Hills district on Wednesday.

“We called off the blockade after Meghalaya officials informed us about the revised standard operating procedures and easing of travel restrictions for people from Assam and other States if COVID-19 protocols are adhered to,” a leader of the local unit of the All Assam Students’ Union said.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2020 3:58:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/fresh-unrest-on-assam-mizoram-border/article32973502.ece

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