Aizawl: Simmering tension continues to prevail along the Mizoram-Assam border after two makeshift huts erected by the Mizoram police at the disputed area were damaged by their counterpart from the neighbouring State on Thursday, an official said.
Officials of Assam’s Hailakhandi district administration said that razing of two camps constructed by Mizos and also a COVID-19 testing centre built by them as part of the efforts to foil Mizoram’s bid to capture its land on the border.
Mizoram’s Kolasib district deputy commissioner H Lalthlangliana said that three makeshift camps were erected at the trouble-torn area by the State police following mutual agreement on Wednesday, which allowed the deployment of forces by both states on either side of the borders.
He said that a district magistrate-level talks between the two States the previous day had mutually agreed to deploy their own forces on either side of the border with a promise not to make confrontation after a proposal of withdrawing forces by both states put forward by him (Lalthlangliana) was declined by his Assams Hailakandi counterpart.
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”Two of the three makeshift camps erected by the Mizoram police were damaged by the Assam police during a confrontation between the two forces on Thursday,” he said.
However, there were no casualties, he said.
Lalthlangliana has vehemently blamed the Assam police for allegedly damaging the makeshifts camps in violation of the mutual agreement.
”Both of us (Mizoram and Assam) have mutually agreed to station our forces at the disputed area to maintain peace as Assam refused to accept the proposal to withdraw both forces. We also agreed not to confront each other. The destruction of the makeshift camps was a clear violation of the agreement,” he said.
The Kolasib deputy commissioner said that he had complained the matter to his Hailakandi counterpart, who assured him to look into the matter.
Although Assam district officials insisted to discuss the border issue during the Wednesday meeting, Mizoram officials refused it citing a border dispute is significantly an affair between two states, which require the involvement of higher authorities from both sides and it could not be resolved at the district administration- level talks, Lalthangliana said.
Mizoram three districts- Aizawl, Kolasib and Mamit share about a 164.6 km long border with Assam’s Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi districts.
After two farmhouses on the inter-State border were torched by the unidentified persons on June 5, fresh border standoff erupted on Tuesday when officials and police personnel of Assam led by Hailakandi deputy commissioner allegedly entered Mizorams territory and forcefully seized Aitlang hnar area about 5 km west of Vairengte, the nearest village in Mizoram’s Kolasib district which borders Assams Hailakandi district.
Officials of the two neighbouring States traded charges of encroachment in each other lands.
While Mizoram levelled aggression charge against Assam and accusing it of encroaching upon its land, the Assamese officials and legislators accused Mizoram of building structures and planting betel nut and banana saplings allegedly ten kilometres inside Hailakandi in Assam.
A report from Assam’s Hailkhandi district said Thursday that the district administration has cleared three forest villages in the Dholaikhal area inside Assam land encroached by Mizoram.
The district administration sources said that a COVID-19 testing centre constructed by Mizos in Jhumghar in Assam’s land was also demolished by Assam police. Besides two camps constructed by Mizos have also been demolished.
”Mizoram’s bid to capture Assam land in the border has also been foiled by state police,” official sources claimed.
Hailakandi shares a border with the Kolasib district of Mizoram.
A team of officials from civil and police administration were present Thursday during the demolition drive and clearance of forests.