Assam-Mizoram border dispute: Rajnath Singh’s intervention sought
Aizawl: Mizoram chief minister Lal Thanhawla on Monday wrote to union home minister Rajnath Singh seeking his intervention in the Mizoram-Assam border dispute so that peace is restored at the earliest, an official said.
Lal Thanhawla asked Singh to intervene for resumption of boundary at the earliest, press advisor to the chief minister L.R. Sailo said. The Mizoram chief minister in the letter described the alleged firing by the Assam Police on Mizo youths as “unfortunate and uncalled for”, Sailo said.
Lal Thanhawla said that there had been border disputes with Assam like other such instances with neighbouring states which sometimes culminated into violent clashes causing hardships especially to those in the fringe areas. Chief secretaries of the two states had held talks on the border dispute in 1995-96 and it was then decided that the talks should be taken up at the chief ministers’ level, he said.
“Unfortunately, the chief minister of Assam declined,” Lal Thanhawla said. The Mizoram Congress legislature party (CLP) on Sunday night passed a resolution to send state police personnel to occupy the land at Zophai area near the Mizoram-Assam border town of Bairabi, a party leader said.
Protestors from Mizoram had clashed with Assam Police in Bairabi, he said. Members of the meeting chaired by Lal Thanhawla, who is also the CLP leader, felt that the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) or Mizo Students Federation should be allowed to build a guest house on the land belonging to the first chief minister of Mizoram Ch Chhunga, the Congress leader said.
The land was donated to the student organisation by his widow, he said. The Mizoram Police had alleged on Saturday that a Mizo student was injured in firing by the Assam Police at Zopui in Kolasib district. Assam Police had denied the charge and claimed that the Mizo students were pushed back when they tried to intrude into the state.
The administration of Hailakandi in Assam had clamped prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC on 7 March in certain pockets of the district apprehending encroachment attempts from the Mizoram side. Meanwhile, the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), the apex Mizo student body and other student organisations organised rallies across Mizoram to protest the alleged firing and lathi-charge by Assam Police on the students, a MZP leader said.
In Aizawl, the protesters demanded the resignation of the state government accusing Lal Thanhawla of ‘’sleeping’’ while the Assam government was “encroaching on Mizo territory in Kolasib near Hailakandi district by constructing schools and police outposts’’.
MZP leaders and activists have been camping in the area to construct a rest house to be called ‘Zofate Chawlhbuk’ on the land donated by Ch Chhunga’s widow to the student organisation, the leader said.
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