Mizoram refuses forces withdraw from border with Assam

The state government will not withdraw its forces from the border with Assam till normalcy returns, said Mizoram Home Minister Lalchamliana.

The home minister’s assertion came a day after the Cachar district administration in Assam asked the Mizoram government to withdraw its forces from the border areas.

Speaking to reporters after a border meeting on Thursday, Lalchamliana reiterated that the Mizoram government accepted the demarcation notified in 1875 under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR) of 1873 as the actual boundary of Mizoram and Assam.

It was a historical boundary of the state which has been accepted since the forefathers of Mizos, he said.

Lalchamliana alleged that some local residents of Lailapur observed blockade on National Highway 306 at Lailapur and the highways linking Mizoram’s Bairabi village with Assam’s Hailakandi district and Medili side in Mizoram’s Mamit district since Wednesday as instigated by Assam officials.

Expressing regret over the blockade, the minister said the issue is on border dispute and it should not be given communal colour.

“People on either side of the borders should live in harmony as the present issue is not a communal issue but the border standoff entirely rests on governments of the two neighbouring states,” he said.

Lalchamliana also said the state government is making massive efforts to ensure that the supply of essential commodities is not disrupted.

Meanwhile, the Cachar district administration on Thursday urged the truckers to start the movement of vehicles to Mizoram.

An official statement said Sonai circle officer Sudeep Nath visited Lailapur, close to the Assam-Mizoram border on Thursday and held discussion with the local residents and truck drivers, who are unwilling to ply their vehicles to Mizoram.

Nath, who visited Lailapur as per Cachar deputy commissioner Keerthi Jalli’s instructions, urged the locals to withdraw the blockade so that movement on the National Highway is normalized, the statement said.

The truckers told Nath that they were scared of entering Mizoram, especially after the blast which took place recently at a school on the inter-state border.

Locals, too, refused to withdraw the blockade and made it clear that they would not do so until a permanent solution is brought to the standoff.

Mizoram’s largest civil organization, Central Young Mizo Association (CYMA) alleged that Cachar district deputy commissioner Keerthi Jalli instigated residents to observe blockade, which is “uncalled for” and demanded stringent disciplinary action against the official.