Mizoram to withdraw forces from Assam border

Mizoram to withdraw forces from Assam border
Lalnunmawia Chuaungo
Aizawl/GUWAHATI, Nov 8 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 11/8/2020 1:44:13 PM IST

Mizoram would withdraw a section of its forces from the border with Assam and BSF personnel will be deployed in their place, a senior official here said on Sunday.

The decision was taken at a meeting, chaired by Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, between the chief secretaries of Assam and Mizoram, he said.

Addressing the press after the meeting, Mizoram Chief Secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo said a unanimous decision was taken that Mizoram will withdraw its forces from the disputed areas and the blockade on National Highway-306 on the Assam side will be lifted.

The traffic movement from Assam is likely to resume on Sunday evening or Monday, he said.

Residents of Lailapur village and nearby areas in Assam’s Cachar district are on an economic blockade since October 28, demanding the withdrawal of Mizoram forces from what they claimed as Assam’s territory, officials said.

Mizoram refused to budge, claiming that state forcesare deployed within its territory.

Chuaungo said the main agenda of the chief secretary- level meeting was to find a short-term solution – withdrawal of forces and lifting of the blockade.

“We will pull out a part of our forces to deploy BSFpersonnel in the disputed areas. The blockade in Assam will also be lifted and traffic movement is likely to resume on Sunday evening or Monday,” he said.

Chuaungo said the Centre was keen on resolving the inter-state dispute between Mizoram and Assam, and is constantly in touch with both the governments.

Three companies of the Border Security Force (BSF) have arrived in the state on Saturday, he said. One company and two platoons of BSF will be deployedat Vairengte, two platoons at Saihapui ‘V’ village in Kolasib district and one company at Thinghlun village in the Mamit district.

However, a section of the state forces will remain deployed on the disputed areas to maintain peace among the Mizo people, he said.

The border dispute between Mizoram and Assam intensified on October 9 when a hut and plantations were destroyed allegedly by officials of Assam’s Karimganj district on a farmland near Thinghlun village in west Mizoram’s Mamit district.

The tension further escalated when residents of Vairengte in Mizoram’s Kolasib set on fire several temporary bamboo huts and stalls during a violent clash on the night of October 17. At least seven people from Mizoram and few others from Assam were injured in the clash.

Though several dialogues were held, normalcy could not be restored in the area. 

School blasts triggered systematically; probe underway: Assam Police
Amid escalating tension along the inter-state border with Mizoram, Assam Police special DGP (border), Mukesh Agrawal informed that an inquiry was underway in connection with the Friday night’s explosions in a lower primary school at Upper Painom near the inter-state boundary in Cachar district of Assam, reports The Northeast Today..
A primary school building near the Assam-Mizoram boundary in the Cachar district was destroyed in an explosion carried out by unknown miscreants. “The three explosions were triggered by miscreants in a systematic and planned manner and the blasts have caused extensive damage to the school,” Agrawal said after assessing the condition of the school along with district officials.
Countering claims by the Mizoram government that the school was within its jurisdiction, Agarwal clarified that the Assam government established the school in the year 2003 with around 30-40 students, and it was in Assam’s territory. The top police official disclosed that the Assam government has requested the central government for instituting a probe by a central agency into the earlier bomb blast that took place at Dholakhal LP School under Khulicherra Part II.
Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal apprised Union Home Minister Amit Shah about the situation along the border and requested the central government to take necessary steps to maintain peace and harmony.
The special DGP (border) also appealed to the people not to be provoked by the recent incidents, as matters have been taken up at the proper level for resolving the border imbroglio.
Cachar Deputy Commissioner, Keerthi Jalli, said that an inquiry was in progress to trace those behind the blast and they have filed an FIR in connection with the incident.
Jalli, however, said that there was no casualty as the school was closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The school falls under the Narsingpur education block of Cachar district and receives mid-day meals under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan,” she said.

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