The Mizoram government on Wednesday sought the Centre’s intervention for the immediate lifting of economic blockade staged by the people of Barak Valley in Assam in the wake of escalated tension over an inter-state boundary dispute.
In a letter addressed to Union Home Secretary, Mizoram home secretary Lalbiaksangi said that the National Highway- 306, which is the lifeline of Mizoram linking the state with Assam and the rest of the country have been blocked inside Assam from July 26.
“The blockade is affecting the livelihood of the people of Mizoram adversely. Movement of vehicles along other routes connecting Mizoram and Assam has also been blocked inside Assam state,” the letter reads.
It has also been reported that unknown miscreants from Assam have destroyed and removed railway tracks at Mohammedpur railway station and Ramnathpur railway station in Assam’s Hailakandi district, the only railway line connecting Bairabi railway station in Mizoram’s Kolasib district, the letter said.
Stating that the National Highways and railway lines are owned and managed by the Central government, the Mizoram home secretary’s letter said that no state agency or entity or general public has the right to block them and restrict the movement of people and goods passing through such national highways and railroads.
“In this regard, it is requested that the Government of India may kindly intervene and instruct the government of Assam to take necessary action for the immediate removal of the blockade so as to ensure resumption of the movement of goods and passengers along the National Highway and Railway line,” the letter said.
The letter mentioned that a state-sponsored economic blockade was earlier imposed by the people of Assam for nearly a month from 17 October to 11 November in 2020 in the wake of border standoff, which had seriously and adversely affected the livelihood of the people of Mizoram, resulting in various hardships.
“It is reported with serious concern that Assam has been indulging in the practice of imposing economic blockade merely because of the fact that the main supply routes i.e National Highways and Railway lines are passing through the state. Incidents like this have occurred numerous times in the past in connection with other incidents,” it said.
In Assam, a 12-hour bandh was observed from 5 am on Wednesday in Barak Valley comprising three districts- Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj, which share border with Mizoram to protest the killing of seven people, including six cops in deadly border clash between Mizoram and Assam on Monday.
The bandh was called by Barak Democratic Front (BDF) and supported by political outfits, including opposition AIUDF and social organisations.
The bandh has affected normal life in the three districts as all business establishments remain closed.
BDF Chief Convenor Pradip Dutta Ray said that people have spontaneously extended their support to the bandh.
“We were compelled to call this bandh as our police personnel have died and there must be a permanent solution to the dispute we do not want any more bloodshed,” he said.
Several social organisations in Hailakandi district blocked roads leading to Mizoram and launched an indefinite “economic blockade” to prevent the movement of goods-carrying trucks to the neighbouring state.
Meanwhile, a senior police officer in Mizoram said that the situation along the inter-state border is now peaceful.
Both the state governments have deployed additional forces in the border areas, he said.
(With inputs from PTI)
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