Aizawl: Alleging that medical supplies, including Covid-19 test kits, were being blocked from entering the state from neighbouring Assam due to the imposition of a “blockade” there, Mizoram Health Minister Dr R Lalthangliana on Monday wrote to the Centre urging it to intervene for lifting the purported restriction.

Lalthangliana levelled a similar allegation on Sunday, while the authorities in Assam rejected the claim contending that no blockade had been imposed.

In his letter, Lalthangliana alleged that consignments of medical supplies, including Covid-19 test kits, are prevented from entering Mizoram state due to the imposition of blockade in the Barak Valley region in Assam. He said that Mizoram is currently reeling under its worst Covid-19 surge and the state could face an enormous health crisis if medical supplies are blocked for long. 

“I have come to learn with dismay that essential medical supplies, including Covid-19 test kits are blocked from entering our state due to the imposition of blockade in the Barak Valley region. This has severely affected the availability of medicines required by patients who are now in critical conditions and by those severely affected with Covid-19,” the letter reads. Even oxygen cylinders, oxygen plant materials, and Covid-19 test kits have been blocked,” he said. 

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He alleged that all the transporters in Assam’s capital Guwahati, who have been operating in Mizoram were instructed to stop transporting any goods to Mizoram under the pretext of security concerns following the border dispute and a violent clash that took place on July 26.

“This has resulted in a complete halt of any type of goods coming to the state, including basic medicines, life-saving medicines and Covid-19 medicines as well,” he said.

Terming the alleged blockade by certain people in Barak Valley “draconian” and “inhumane” act, Lalthangliana said, “basic fundamental right to life as guaranteed by the Constitution of the country, which includes the right to basic health care andmedicines have been denied due to these belligerent activities.”

On Sunday, the Mizoram home department shot another letter to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) stating that no vehicles entered from Assam till date and many vehicles carrying essential commodities and medical consignment, including Covid-19 equipment and test kits are stranded at Lailapur-Dholai area in Assam’s Cachar district due to the blockade on NH-306.

This was the third time in five days the state government had written to the Home Ministry seeking its intervention to lift the economic blockade allegedly sponsored by the Assam government. 

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In the letter sent by newly appointed Mizoram home secretary Vanlalngaisaka, the state government alleged that obstructions or barricades were constructed by civilians under the supervision of police personnel on road in Assam’s Karimganj district that links Mizoram’s Mamit district.

Earlier, Assam government had claimed that no economic blockade is clamped in the state and the “travel advisory” was not an order banning travel to Mizoram.

The NH-306 is the lifeline of Mizoram, linking the state with rest of the country through Assam’s Silchar. Most supplies come to the state via the national highway.

Last year, residents of Lailapur clamped economic blockade on the NH-306 for about 30 days between October and November following a border dispute, which forced the Mizoram government to bring in essentials supplies from neighbouring Tripura and Manipur.

This time too, the state government has opened an alternate route to transport essential commodities, including rice, LPG and oil from Tripura. 

Meanwhile, a police officer in Vairengte, the gateway to Mizoram along the NH-306, told EastMojo that no vehicles have entered the state from neighbouring Assam since July 26 till date. 

However, the situation along the inter-state border is peaceful now, he said. 

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