Mizoram CM Zoramthanga 
File photo of Mizoram CM Zoramthanga

Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga on Wednesday said his government is working hard to strengthen the state police forces.

He informed the state legislature they would recruit more police constables and officers when the Covid-19 situation subsides.

Zoramthanga, who replied to queries on behalf of home minister Lalchamliana, said, “We will strengthen our forces either in terms of weapons or manpower to keep law and order and maintain peace not only in the event of border dispute but also in the case of any eventuality,” he said.

The home minister could not attend the session as he is currently placed under home quarantine after his grandson tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday.

Replying to a question from Lalsawivunga of opposition Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), Zoramthanga said his government would increase rations to police personnel who are guarding the state border after the standoff with neighbouring Assam.

According to him, the state police now receive a monthly ration allowance of Rs 1,000 while armed personnel are given Rs 40 per month as Rifles allowance.

He said the state police duty camps set up along the state border with Assam would also be upgraded with more facilities and required infrastructures.

“Any requirement in terms of facilities and other infrastructures, which can be met within our limit, will be provided to the personnel, who are guarding the border. Their rations especially rice would also be increased,” Zoramthanga said.

Mizoram shares inter-state boundaries with Assam, Manipur and Tripura. Although the hilly state has no border dispute with Manipur, the dispute with Assam, which stemmed from the contentious two colonial demarcations, is a long-standing issue that remained unresolved for decades.

The border dispute with Tripura is negligible.

Mizoram was a district of Assam before it was carved out as a separate Union Territory in 1971. It attained statehood in 1987 after 20 years of insurgency.

The border skirmishes between Mizoram and Assam, which flared up in 1994 and became more frequent since 2018 has ultimately turned into a “bloody clash” on July 26 this year when police forces of the two states engaged in a fierce gun battle.

At least six police personnel and a civilian from Assam had died and more than 60 people were injured in the violent clash that occurred on the National Highway-306 between Mizoram’s Vairengte town and Assam’s Lailapur.

In August, the two Northeastern states had agreed to maintain peace and resolve the border dispute through dialogue during a meet in Aizawl.

However, the situation along the inter-state border continues to be tensed till now.

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