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Dhaka Tribune

Tension returns as Assam police fire at Mizoram residents

The latest incident came weeks after five Assam police officers were killed after tensions escalated along the state’s border with Mizoram.

Update : 18 Aug 2021, 11:41 AM

Tension flared up again along the Assam-Mizoram border on Tuesday after the Assam police allegedly fired at three Mizo residents, reported PTI. One of them was injured in the alleged firing.

The latest incident came weeks after five Assam police officers were killed after tensions escalated along the state’s border with Mizoram. Assam and Mizoram share a 164.6-km-long border, which has long been a cause of dispute. Several rounds of dialogue since 1994 have failed to resolve the disagreement.

On Tuesday, H Lalthlangliana, the deputy commissioner of Kolasib district in Mizoram, told PTI that the incident happened around 2 am at the disputed Aitlang Tlangpui area along the border with Assam’s Hailakandi district.

The three residents from Vairengte town had gone to the disputed area to collect meat from a friend, Lalthlangliana said. He said that the civilians were identified as Lalchhandama, Lalduhawmi and Vanlalrovi, reported EastMojo.

When the three Mizoram residents reached the spot, they heard a loud whistle from their friend, who was identified as Nibus. When the citizens whistled back in response, the Assam police guarding the border opened fire, the deputy commissioner alleged.

Also Read - Six police killed in Assam-Mizoram border clash; 4,000 commandos deployed

As they ran to take cover, Lalduhawmi sustained a minor injury on her arm, Lalthlangliana said, adding that she has been discharged from a hospital where she was administered first aid.

Calling for the incident to be taken “seriously”, the deputy commissioner asked Mizoram residents to follow the government’s advisory and not to visit the border area till peace is restored.

Lalthlangliana has written to Hailakandi Deputy Commissioner Rohan Kumar Jha, asking him to look into the matter and take immediate action. In his letter, he said that such incidents could flare up tension between the two states.

The Kolasib deputy commissioner wrote another letter to his Hailakandi counterpart, alleging that around 50 personnel belonging to the Assam police were present at a road construction site at Aitalang on Monday. He added that the Mizoram government has stopped such constructions three days ago at Jha’s request.

Lalthlangliana said that the presence of police at the construction site has caused fear among Vairengte’s residents.

Earlier on August 13, a school in Hailakandi was damaged after two bomb blasts took place near the state’s border with Mizoram. A part of lower primary Sahebmara LP School in the Sahebcherra area was damaged in the blast.

Also Read - Is Assam-Mizoram conflict rare in Northeastern India?

Hailakandi’s Superintendent of Police Gaurav Upadhyay had alleged that the school was damaged by miscreants from Mizoram. However, Vanlalfaka Ralte, superintendent of police of Kolasib district, which shares the border with Hailakandi, dismissed allegations that the miscreants belonged to Mizoram.

Assam-Mizoram border clashes

While no casualties were suffered by Mizoram during the clashes on July 26, the state government claimed that around 200 Assam Police personnel had crossed a duty post manned by the Central Reserve Police Force and state police in Vairengte in Mizoram’s Kolasib district.

On August 5, Assam and Mizoram signed a joint declaration “to remove tensions prevailing around the inter-state borders and to find lasting solutions”. Both the sides agreed to the deployment of “neutral forces” in the conflict areas.

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