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MZP alleged that the Mizoram government was not worrying about the border dispute with Assam
MZP alleged that the Mizoram government was not worrying about the border dispute with Assam|Representational image
MIZORAM

Mizo Zirlai Pawl asks Mizoram govt to settle border row with Assam

The apex students’ body of Mizoram slams chief minister Zoramthanga for allegedly not taking concrete measures to resolve the dispute with the neighbouring state

Henry L Khojol

Aizawl: Mizoram’s apex students’ body -- Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) -- on Tuesday asked the state government to expedite measures to resolve the long-standing inter-state border dispute with Assam.

The executive meeting of the students’ body held on Tuesday in Aizawl slammed the Mizo National Front (MNF) government headed by chief minister Zoramthanga for allegedly not taking concrete measures to resolve the border dispute, MZP president L Ramdinliana Renthlei said.

He alleged that the government was not worrying about the border dispute.

According to Renthlei, the state government has taken little steps to resolve the border issue. He said that the students’ body had met Zoramthanga and home minister Lalchamliana several times but to no avail.

The executive meeting has decided to take measure to ensure that the government expedite its measures to resolve the long-pending border dispute, he added.

Recently, Lalchamliana visited the border area and held interaction with police officials there. He had said that the government would upgrade border outposts along the Mizoram-Assam border by improving facilities and infrastructures.

In March 2018, tension erupted at Zophai area near Bairabi town on the Mizoram-Assam border when MZP functionaries attempted to re-construct a wooden resting shed, which was damaged by Assam police.

More than 60 people, including journalists, were injured when Assam police resorted to lathicharge to disperse the students, according to MZP.

Renthlei said the students’ body constructed the resting shed in a plot of land donated by Mizoram’s first chief minister Ch Chhunga’s wife Lalrothangi, which falls under 509-square-mile Inner Line Reserved Forest along the Mizoram-Assam border.

He claimed that the Inner Line Reserved Forest declared by the colonial British and notified in 1875 under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 belongs to Mizoram. The leader also said that the students’ body is firm on constructing resting shed at Zophai.

The Mizoram and Assam governments constituted a joint committee under the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) after a border dispute at Zophai area in March 2018.

The committee carried out inspection of illegal structures in the inner line reserved forest, but suspended the exercise following a dispute at zero point in Dholchera-Phaisen area in April the same year.

The Assam Human Rights Commission on Monday summoned five journalists from Mizoram, who were reportedly injured during border stand-off in March last year.

Meanwhile, the MZP executive meeting has decided to observe “Remna NI” or the anniversary of the signing of the historic Mizo peace accord on June 28.

The event to be held at Lammual (Assam Rifles ground) will be graced by Chief Minister and MNF president Zoramthanga.

Though the Mizo peace accord was signed on June 30, 1986, celebration of its 33rd anniversary will be held on June 28 as the actual day falls on Sunday, MZP sources said.