Tripura royal scion and The Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance (TIPRA) chairman Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barma on Saturday said people of Tripura are willing to extend humanitarian help to Mizoram.
The leader informed Mizoram sports minister Robert Romawia Royte.
“I have spoken to Pu Robert Royte and extended our help if they need anything in regards to supplies in Mizoram. While there may be border disputes between us and Mizoram, the new generation of Tiprasa must rise to show NE that we can also offer assistance to others in times of need,” Barma said in a tweet.
The Mizoram government has opened alternate routes to bring essential commodities from two neighbouring states: Tripura and Manipur.
Lalrozama, Deputy Commissioner of Mamit district, which shares a border with Tripura, said essential commodities including fuel and LPG, have started coming in from the neighbouring state on Saturday.
Several traders from Tripura have entered Mizoram on Saturday and the administration is making efforts to ensure smooth traffic movement between the two states, he added.
An official statement on Saturday said that around 20 trucks carrying oil and LPG are returning from Tripura.
Earlier on Saturday, Kolasib Deputy Commissioner H. Lalthangliana said that no vehicle has entered the state from Assam since Monday following the violent clash near Vairengte in the Kolasib district.
Seven people, including six Assam Police personnel, have been killed and scores injured in a clash along the Mizoram-Assam inter-state border on July 26.
Earlier, the Assam government had advised state residents not to travel to Mizoram following the recent clash.
In response to Assam’s travel advisory, the Mizoram government has recently announced free movement to Assam and instructed concerned authorities to ensure the safety of non-Mizos in the state.
Mizoram is linked to the rest of the country through Assam’s Silchar by National Highway-306 that passes through the border town of Vairengte, where the violent clash took place on Monday.
The Mizoram government had on Friday written another letter to the Union Home Ministry alleging economic blockade in Assam and seeking the Centre’s intervention to lift it.
In the letter, Mizoram Home Secretary Lalbiaksangi alleged that several vehicles carrying COVID-related materials like test kits were stranded on NH 306 in the Lailapur-Dholai area in Assam.
Mizoram also sought the restoration of railway tracks damaged in three locations in Assam.
Assam, however, has claimed that no group is currently staging any blockade on NH 306 in the state.
‘Drug trade nothing to do with border clash’
The Mizoram government on Saturday also denied the involvement of any “non-state actors” in the recent border clash and denounced the allegation that the border dispute stemmed from drug trafficking and cattle trade.
State home minister Lalchamliana said that the recent violent clash came out of an “unavoidable” countermeasure to protect the territorial integrity and ancestral land of the Mizos, which was threatened several times over decades by aggression and encroachment from Assam.
“Drug trafficking and cattle trade have nothing to do with the boundary dispute nor was non-state actors involved in the recent clash. How can a responsible government be hand in glove with or be influenced by non-state actors,” he said.
He said that there is no point of denying the fact that some civilians from Vairengte were present during the clash so were civilians from Assam, but the border town residents gathered to protect their ancestral land when outside forces tried to grab it.
Though certain student organisations used to clash with Assam police over a border dispute, no organisation was involved this time, he said.
“Despite maximum restrain at first, our men were compelled to resort to countermeasure when neighbouring state forces crossed over our territory, overran our outpost and trying to set up camps and not only fired grenade and tear gas but first opened fire (bullets) towards our forces and the protesting civilians,” Lalchamliana said, adding it was solely a countermeasure in self dense and to protect civilians.
“It was very unfortunate that some people lost their lives and several sustained injuries in the clash.”
On drug trafficking, the home minister said Mizoram was much ahead of Assam in launching a crackdown on drug smuggling.
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