Aizawl: The Mizoram Chief Minister Office (CMO) and the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) have denied the allegations that Chief Minister Zoramthanga as well as the Mizoram government was in a nexus with a Silchar-based trader, who recently came under the police radar for his alleged link with smuggling of Burmese dried areca nuts. 

The clarification came after an Assam-based online news portal reported that the house of Abu Mazumdar, a resident of Silchar’s Itkhola in Assam’s Cachar district, who was allegedly spotted at a dinner between Zoramthanga and his Assam counterpart  Himanta Biswa Sarma in New Delhi recently, was raided by Assam police in connection with smuggling of Burmese areca nut (supari). 

The dinner was held on the sidelines of the border talks between the states in November last year as a goodwill gesture. 

The report also alleged that Mazumdar was invited by Zoramthanga as he was a close ally of the Mizoram government. It also published a picture of the dinner where Mazumdar was spotted. “If sources are to be believed, Abu Mazumdar is a top-level handler and has close relationships with Mizoram government,” the report in the online news portal said. 

Soon after the report was published, it was widely circulated on social media in Mizoram with some vernacular dailies reproducing it.

Denouncing the allegation as ‘baseless’, the CMO and the MNF, in separate statements, on Monday said that CM Zoramthanga did not invite Mazumdar to the dinner.

The CMO clarified that the dinner was hosted by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma at Asam House in New Delhi on November 25 last year. The Mizoram chief minister was accompanied by Delhi Mizoram House resident commissioner, Officer of Special Duty to the chief minister, and additional personal secretary to the CM, it said.

“No other officials other than those who accompanied the chief minister took part in the dinner, which was hosted by the Assam chief minister. Mazumdar might have been invited by the Assam chief minister,” the CMO said in the statement.

The MNF said the allegation that alleged areca nut smuggler Mazumdar accompanied the Mizoram chief minister was totally wrong. Mazumdar was rather invited by the Assam chief minister at the dinner along with state minister Atul Bora, the party said.

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