Assam says Mizoram tried to construct bridge in its territory, stopped

Aizawl: ZPM Thalai, the youth wing of main opposition party Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), on Wednesday asked the state government to evict Assam police personnel who are allegedly camping on Mizoram territory near Vairengte town on the state border with Assam.

A statement issued by the youth wing alleged that several Mizo farmers from Vairengte, who practice farming at Mautui zau area near Vairengte town, were restricted by the Assam police, who have issued identify card or pass to the farmers.

The youth wing further alleged that Assam police has been camping in the area since the beginning of this year and has destroyed betel nut plantations that belonged to Mizo farmers.

The group has urged Home Minister Lalchamliana to take steps to ensure that the Assam police personnel are evicted from the area.

Meanwhile, Mizoram Inspector General of Police (Headquarters) John Neihlaia said that the ZPM youth was misinformed about the current situation.

He said that representatives of both Mizoram and Assam governments met on March 7 to discuss shifting of Assam police camp and to ensure that farmers move freely in Mautui zau area.

The meeting, which was held under cordial environment, agreed that Assam police would shift its base at a hill beside an LP school near Assam boundary, he said.

Upon raising question by Assam police that they would not be able to differentiate between the farmers and persons who casually forage in the forest, the meeting decided to issue identity cards to the actual farmers, who practice farming or rice cultivation at Mautui zau area and such ID cards will be issued by a Sub Divisional Officer in Vairengte, the IGP said.

The IGP added that it was also agreed during the meeting that a list of farmers or workers, who will be issued ID card, will also be forwarded to the Officer Incharge of Dholai police station in Assam for their perusal.

During the meeting Assam representatives assured that Mizo farmers would not be disturbed in the area, he said. 

Neihlaia further said that the list of the farmers at Mautui zau area is being collected by the SDO (civil) office and ID cards would soon be issued to the farmers.

Mizoram shares 164.6 km long inter-state boundary with Assam.

The boundary dispute between the two northeastern states is a long-standing one which stemmed from two colonial demarcations in 1875 and 1933.

While Mizoram government accepted the 1875 notification as its actual boundary, the Assam government said the demarcations made under 1933 notification was its boundary.

The border dispute took an ugly turn on July 26 last year when police forces of both states exchanged fire at the disputed area near Vairengte town on National Highway 306, leading to the deaths of six policemen and a civilian from Assam. 

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