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The meeting was held as per the instruction of the Mizoram government following complaint against construction of a mosque by Assam at Zophai area near Bairabi town recently
The meeting was held as per the instruction of the Mizoram government following complaint against construction of a mosque by Assam at Zophai area near Bairabi town recently|EastMojo image
MIZORAM

Border row: Mizoram, Assam hold talks, ZPM slams govt

Both sides agree to maintain status quo on disputed land; decision made at meeting of district-level officials of the state govts at Bairabi on Monday

Henry L Khojol

Aizawl: The Mizoram and Assam government have agreed to maintain status quo on the disputed land along the inter-state border, an official said on Tuesday. The decision was made at the meeting of district-level officials of both the state governments at Bairabi on Monday, the official said.

Earlier, the Centre had asked both the governments to maintain status quo on the disputed land after a border tension took place when functionaries of state’s apex student body Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) attempted to construct a resting shed at Zophai in March last year.

The meeting was held as per the instruction of the Mizoram government following complaint against construction of a mosque by Assam at Zophai area near Bairabi town recently.

While Mizoram officials were led by Kolasib district deputy commissioner Zoensanga, Assam officials were led by Hailakandi district deputy commissioner Kriti Joly, the official said.

Both officials also paid a visit to Zophai area and inspected the ongoing construction of a Muslim mosque there, he said. Both sides also agreed to put the meeting decision before the state governments.

The MZP had earlier alleged that illegal structures, including a mosque, shops and a building have been newly constructed by Assam at Zophai despite the Centre's directive to maintain status quo.

The meeting of core committee on border issue held under the leadership of Mizoram chief secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo on August 8 had instructed the state home department to take measure for demolition of illegal structure being constructed by Assam.

Meanwhile, main opposition Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) on Tuesday slammed the state government for allegedly being non-proactive and embarrassing the people.

A statement issued by the ZPM said that some party workers on Monday visited Zophai area and inspected the ongoing construction of a mosque by Assam on the disputed land along the inter-state border at a time both Mizoram and Assam officials were inspecting the site.

The statement alleged that the construction of mosque was still going on and labourers were present at the construction site with construction materials when ZPM workers visited the site on Monday. It also alleged that while personnel of Assam Police and Indian Reserve police from Assam were guarding the area, no personnel of Mizoram police were seen there.

The ZPM alleged that the Assam government is constructing the mosque under  protection despite the decision to maintain status quo on the disputed land.

Blaming the Mizoram government for allegedly being inactive, the ZPM said that the fact that Assam is continuing the construction of the mosque despite the decision to maintain status quo is a great embarrassed for Mizoram. It also blamed the state government for allegedly paying indifference to the border dispute.

The party further said that home minister Lalchamliana while replying to a question from ZPM member Lalsawivunga had informed the state legislature in March that he has no knowledge about border dispute with neighbouring Assam.