ZPM youth wing slams Assam Police for ‘restricting’ Mizoram Farmers

ZPM

The youth wing of the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) on Wednesday alleged that several people from Vairengte town of the state were being “restricted” by the Assam Police from entering their farmlands in Mautui zau area near the town.

Urging the administration to evict personnel of the Assam Police who are allegedly camping near Vairengte in Kolasib district, ZPM Thalai, the youth wing of Mizoram’s main opposition party, also alleged that the security personnel of the neighbouring state was issuing identity cards to Mizoram farmers.

However, Mizoram Inspector General of Police (Headquarters) John Neihlaia said that the youth wing of the ZPM was “misinformed” about the current situation.

“It is very unfortunate that the Mizo farmers are being controlled, restricted, and issued ID cards by Assam Police in their own land. The incident revealed the incompetence of the Mizoram home minister,” the ZPM Thalai said in the statement.

The youth wing of the ZPM also alleged that police personnel of the neighbouring state had been camping in the area since the beginning of this year and had destroyed betel nut plantations belonging to Mizo farmers.

It urged home minister Lalchamliana to take steps to ensure that the Assam Police personnel are evicted from the area.

Meanwhile, the IGP(Headquarters) said that the representatives of both the Mizoram and Assam governments had met on March 7 to discuss the shifting of Assam Police camp and to ensure free movement of Mizo farmers in Mautui zau area.

It was agreed that the Assam Police would shift its camp beside a school near the Assam boundary, Neihlaia said.

Mizoram shares a 164.6 km long inter-state boundary with Assam.

When the Assam Police pointed out that they would not be able to differentiate between farmers and persons, who casually enter the forests, the meeting decided to issue identity cards to bona fide farmers in Mautui zau area. Those ID cards will be issued by a Sub Divisional Officer in Vairengte, he said.

The IGP said that the meeting also agreed that a list of farmers or workers, who will be issued the ID cards, will also be forwarded to the Officer In-charge of Dholai police station in Assam for their perusal.

During the meeting, the representatives of Assam had said that Mizo farmers would not be disturbed in the area, the IGP said.

A list of the farmers in Mautui zau area is being collected by the SDO (civil) office and the ID card would soon be issued to the farmers.

The boundary dispute between the two northeastern states is a long-standing issue, which stemmed from two colonial demarcations in 1875 and 1933.

The border dispute took an ugly turn on July 26 last year when police forces of both states exchanged fire at the disputed area near Vairengte town on the National Highway 306 leading to the death of six policemen and a civilian from Assam.

 

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