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Assam-Mizoram Border Row: Fresh Stand-Off Over Forest Clearing Activity

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Assam-Mizoram Border Row: Fresh Stand-Off Over Forest Clearing Activity

Assam Police along with civil administration have carried out an eviction drive of Mizo people

Guwahati:

After at least three bombs went off in southern Assam’s Cachar bordering Mizoram allegedly by Mizo criminals, the state government said on Monday and added the accused threatened the officials with “abusive language and weapons like axe and sickle.”

In a press statement, Assam authorities claimed that a suspected IED blast was carried out allegedly by Mizo criminals on Saturday followed by two explosions in the Kulicherra area where tension is high as people from Mizoram have reportedly entered up to 6.5 kilometres inside Assam a few days ago. Following this, the Assam Police along with civil administration carried out an eviction drive.

“On Saturday morning, around 25 metres ahead of the already deployed Kulicherra CRPF camp, Mizo citizens and Mizoram Police barricaded the entry towards Dholakhal in Kulicherra,” the press note said.

The statement also said that officials were “met by a mob of Mizoram miscreants who threatened the officials with abusive language and weapons like axe and sickle despite the area being well inside Assam.”

The Assam police has now managed to push the mob back across the Kulicherra stream. Mizoram police and civilians have “camped across the stream blocking pathway to Upper Phainom School (path leading to Kulicherra), the statement added.

Mizoram Home Minister Lalchamliana said the state will seek compensation from the Assam government for allegedly destroying crops of some Mizo families, a move that Assam government says were part of the “forest protection activity well within Assam’s border”.

“The incident which took place last week at Buarchep in the border area wherein crops of some Mizo farmers had been destroyed by police forces of Assam is an unfortunate act that needs to be strongly condemned the unfortunate incident. Adequate compensation must be given by the Government of Assam to the affected farmers and Mizoram will follow up this demand,” Mr Lalchamliana said in a press statement.

He has however said the clashes are motivated by local elected bodies and leaders in the districts and that it is unfortunate.

Three districts of the southern Assam’s Barak Valley – Karimganj, Hailakandi and Cachar – share a 123-km long border with three districts of Mizoram – Mamit, Kolasib and Aizawl – of which, the National Highway 306 runs through Lailapur in Cachar to Vairengte in Kolasib through a border gate dividing the two states locked in border disputes since 1971.