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Flare up along Assam-Mizoram border: Union Home Secretary to hold a meeting with the Chief Secretaries of Mizoram and Assam

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Guwahati: There is simmering tension along Assam-Mizoram inter-state border at Lailapur following a flare up on Saturday. Several people are injured. Mizoram government stated that it has intimated the Ministry of Home Affairs regarding the transgressions committed by the Government of Assam and Union Home Secretary has convened a meeting with the Chief Secretaries of Mizoram and Assam on Monday.

The Assam government claimed that the situation is under control. Superintendent of Police of Cachar, Bhanwar Lal Meena rushed to the spot, he said. “We got reports of a few temporary houses and stalls being burnt. Local police reached the spot and brought the situation under control. We are taking all possible steps to ensure such incidents do not recur in near future. We have also established contacts with our counterparts in Mizoram.”

Security has been beefed up at Lailapur and along the inter-state border.

The problem started when a Covid-19 testing center was set up 1.5 km inside (from the inter-state border with Mizoram) at Lailapur in Assam territory (under Cachar district) on Friday by the Mizoram officials. It is alleged that the same was set up unilaterally. Assam district objected to the setting up of the Covid-19 testing center to test the samples of Mizoram bound truckers and other people without the permission of the Assam authority.

A police officer who did not want to be named told ET, ““Some youths (from Mizoram) came to Lailapur and attacked the truck drivers, villagers and burnt more than 15 small shops-cum-houses”.

In its meeting held on Sunday the Mizoram Cabinet expressed regret over the unilateral and provocative acts of disturbing public peace and harmony in the border areas at three locations – Thinghlun, Saihapui ‘V’ and Vairengte – of Mizoram by the district administrations of Cachar and Karimganj districts and expects that the Government of Assam will take urgent measures to restore normalcy in these areas.

The state government in a statement stated in order to instill a sense of security to the distraught residents of the affected border areas and also to prevent any other untoward incident, security will be beefed up in these areas. Due to road blockade organized by Assam at the entry points of inter-state highways connecting Assam to Mizoram, entry of essential commodities has been stopped. Efforts are underway to obtain the required essential commodities such as LPG and POL through other neighbouring states. The Government of Mizoram appeals to all its people to bear with the associated inconvenience and refrain from hoarding so that there is equitable distribution of essential commodities.

Mizoram government added the State Government is actively engaging with the Government of Assam to resolve the current issues at the border areas and has also intimated the Ministry of Home Affairs regarding the transgressions committed by the Government of Assam; and Union Home Secretary has convened a meeting with the Chief Secretaries of Mizoram and Assam through video conference on Monday. The Government of Mizoram also appeals to all persons not to attempt to use the present crisis to further their personal or collective motives.

Assam Minister for Environment and Forest, Parimal Suklabaidya visited on Sunday Lailapur, where some houses and stalls were torched by miscreants from the other side of the border last night, and interacted with the local people to defuse the tension.

Suklabaidya, who rushed to the site of the incident at the instruction of the Chief Minister, said the incident that took place on Saturday night was the handiwork of miscreants out to create disturbance in society.

Assuring the local people living close to the border of safety and security, Suklabaidya said he would place their demands of police outpost and other security related issues to higher authorities.

The Minister said the civil and police administrations of Cachar are doing their level best to deal with the situation and would take care of the security aspect so that the local people can live without fear.

Deputy Commissioner, Cachar, Keerthi Jalli too visited the troubled spot along the inter-state border to defuse. Jalli assured the local residents that the administration would provide them security to ward off the evil machinations at work to create disturbance between the peoples of both the states.

Barak Valley Commissioner, Gyanendra Tripathi assured the local people of protection and urged them to live in harmony with the people of the neighbouring state.

Security also beefed up along Tripura and Mizoram borders and promulgated prohibitory orders, even as the Tripura authorities stopped reconstruction of a temple at the disputed Phuldungsei village along the inter-state border.

Last year Union Home minister Amit Shah had set a new agenda for North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) to resolve the interstate border disputes which exist between the North-eastern states. NEDA is a platform of non-congress parties.

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