Assam refutes Mizoram’s charge of kidnapping of a driver

Aizawl/Hailakandi (Assam), Sep 3 | Publish Date: 9/3/2021 12:06:04 PM IST

A day after a civilian construction worker was allegedly assaulted and kidnapped by Assam police, a Kolasib based union on Friday demanded both Mizoram and Assam state governments should compensate the worker.

While Assam police altogether refuted Mizoram’s allegations that the driver of an excavator had been kidnapped and assaulted by the Hailakandi district police.

Mizoram has levelled ‘’false and fabricated’’ allegations against Assam police, Hailakandi Superintendent of police, Gaurav Upadhyay said at a press conference here on Friday.

In a letter written to his counterpart in Assam’s Hailakandi district, Mizoram’s Kolasib Deputy Commissioner H. Lalthlangliana had on Thursday alleged that one Lalnarammawia, operator of an earth excavator was blindfolded and kidnapped at gun point by Assam Police personnel in commando fatigues from near Mizoram’s Vairengte village.

Upadhyay claimed photographs of the driver released does not have any marks on his body, adding the allegations were probably a ploy to divert attention from the main issue.

Hailakandi Deputy Commissioner Rohan Jha said that Mizoram has occupied 1,000 acres of Assam land and out of that, 200 acres have been freed in Dhalaikhal area with tree plantation started by the district administration.

Mizoram was continuing with road construction in Assam’s land, he alleged.

Upadhyay requested his Kolasib counterpart to withdraw Mizoram state police forces and construction workers from “Assam’s land.”

A statement issued by Kolasib Excavator Backhoe Loader Operator Association (KEBOA) has however expressed disappointment over the attack on its member and accused the Mizoram government of being responsible for the incident as it failed to adequate provide security protection despite written assurance.

It claimed that its member was constructing a road at Aitlang area near Vairengte town in Kolasib district after a written assurance from the district magistrate on providing security cover.

The association said that its member Lalnarammawia, a resident of Kolasib’s Vengthar, an earth excavator operator, had been allegedly brutally assaulted by Assam police personnel while working at the road construction site near the Assam border on Thursday.

It said the victim was in serious condition as he had suffered rib bone fractures, and ear injuries during the assault.

“We demand the Assam government give compensation to the victim for the assault. We also ask the Mizoram government to compensate him for failing to protect him,” the statement signed by the association general secretary Zohmingthanga Tlau said.

The association also asked the Mizoram government to take measures to ensure that the victim’s mobile phone and excavator’s key are returned to him at the earliest.

“The JCB operator was blindfolded and kidnapped with a gun pointed at his head by Assam Police wearing Commando uniform. He was then dragged to the river and threatened. His mobile phone along with JCB keys were taken by the Assam Police,” the letter sent by Kolasib’s deputy commissioner had claimed.

After simmering tensions for several months over a border dispute, at least six Assam Police personnel and one civilian were killed and more than 50 people injured in a fire-fight between the police of the two states on July 26.

The two states share a 164.6-km border between Assam’s Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts, and Mizoram’s Kolasib, Mamit and Aizawl districts.

Both states have differing interpretations of their territorial border. While Mizoram believes that its border lies along an ‘inner line’ drawn up in 1875 to protect tribals from outside influence, Assam goes by a district demarcation done in the 1933. 

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