Regional

Tripura orders probe into dispute with Mizoram over boundary issue

AGARTALA, AUG 22 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 8/22/2020 12:21:31 PM IST

Days after Tripura royal scion Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma raised a 10-year old dispute between Tripura and Mizoram over people living in a bordering village between both states, Tripura’s BJP-IPFT government has ordered an enquiry into the issue, reports The Indian Express.

Out of around 640 people living in Phuldungsai, a small village perched atop the lush green Jampui hill range that crisscrossed the Tripura-Mizoram inter-state boundary in Kanchanpur sub-division, 212 Km from Agartala, 130 have featured their names in electoral rolls of both Tripura and Mizoram. The issue is nearly a decade old, according to sources, and two survey attempts to demarcate the boundary earlier ended inconclusive.

The enquiry order comes shortly before Mizoram’s village council polls scheduled on August 27.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, Tripura revenue minister Narendra Chandra Debbarma said, “We are aware of the issue. We have asked concerned higher officials to hold an investigation into the matter and submit report”.

He said the boundary dispute was left unattended for over a decade and it’s high time his government did something about it. The minister also said there are reports of similar encroachments at Kawnpui, another bordering village close by at Jampui.

“We have instructed officials to conduct the enquiry in a holistic manner and submit report on all encroachments the boundary between Tripura and Mizoram in Jampui Hills”, Debbarma informed.

Asked about his take on it, Tripura Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sriram Taranikanti said if there is a duplication of voters in voter lists of both Tripura and Mizoram, the issue would be taken up between the office of Tripura CEO and CEO of Mizoram.

“The electoral roll revision process is underway. If there is any discrepancy, it will surely be sorted out. Besides, we have this software from ECI called ERO Net. It is already in use and when applied across the country, issues like these can be easily resolved”, the official said.

A source in the North Tripura district administration informed this publication that the state government has asked them to collect details of 130 persons living in Phulgungsei, and submit report.

Earlier on August 17, Kanchanpur Sub-Divisional Magistrate Chandni Chandran wrote a letter North Tripura District Magistrate on assembly election of Mizoram and inclusion of Phuldungsai in part 37 of Mizoram’s ST-reserved Hacchek constituency.

“On careful scrutiny of pat 37 of Hacchek ST constituency of Mizoram, the following points have been observed: 1. Phuldungsai VC has been added as part of constituency as Zampui Phuldungsai, 2. 130 voters in the electoral roll of Zampui Phuldungsai are residents of Tripura. They are present in electoral rolls of Tripura, in ROR of Phuldungsai Village Council and avail ration facility from Phuldungsai ration shop under Kanchanpur sub-division”, she wrote in her letter, available with this correspondent.

Terming the issue as ‘problematic’, the SDM mentioned in her letter that a PWD road leading to Kawnpui, another village in the chain of 12 tribal hamlets in Jampui Hills, is regarded as the boundary between Tripura and Mizoram in Phuldungsai, where the eastern side belongs to Mizoram and the western side is in Tripura.

“Traditionally, Phuldungsai VC as a while (despite eastern side falling in Mizoram) has been accepted as a part of Tripura. Hence, the inclusion of the VC and its residents in Mizoram electoral rolls seems to be problematic”, the official wrote and urged her higher official to urgently demarcate the exact boundary, incorporating entire Phuldungsai village in Tripura.

Mizoram’s Hacchek (ST) constituency, where parts of Phuldungsai was shown listed, comes under jurisdiction of the state’s Mamit district.

Mamit District Collector Dr. Lalrozama earlier told this publication, “While I am not immediately aware of any communication from Tripura on this issue, I believe the electoral rolls have been prepared in connection with village council polls in Mizoram. As far as Phuldungsai is concerned, one part of the village comes under Tripura and another in Mizoram. A road that goes through the village connects the two states”.

The issue was raised by Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma. He wrote on social media four days back that he had spoken to Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb and SDM of Kanchanpur about reports of Tripura territory being taken away by ‘a neighbouring state’ and demanded that the issue had to be dealt with firmly.

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