Aizawl: Mizoram’s most influential student body, the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) (Mizo Students’ Federation) on Tuesday asked the state government to identify and demolish unauthorised or illegal villages in Chakma and Bru areas.
MZP president L Ramdinliana Renthlei said that there are at least 21 unauthorised villages in the state being established by illegal Chakma and Bru immigrants. He said such villages were found in two Mizoram districts, where the Chakma and Bru community live.
Of the 21 illegal villages, 19 belong to Lunglei district and two to Mamit on the Mizoram-Tripura-Bangladesh border, he said.
According to Renthlei, the RTI report showed that 20 villages were illegally established by the Chakma community in Lunglei and Mamit, while one village in Mamit district was established by the Bru tribals. He said that the actual figure could increase as verification and inspection are yet to be done.
According to Renthlei, leaders of the student body on Monday called on local administration minister K Lalrinliana and informed him about the unauthorised villages.
He said that they appealed to the minister to identify the villages and take speedy step to ensure that the villages are demolished at the earliest.
The students' body also appealed to the state government to evacuate those Mizoram genuine residents, who live in illegal villages, to nearby villages recognised by the state government and deport those foreigners to their native places.
The students’ body had earlier urged the state government to constitute either state-level screening committee or district-level screening committee on unauthorised settlements.
All India Chakma Social Forum (AICSF) had last year approached Chief Justice of India Dipak Mishra imploring him to intervene to uphold the rule of law in Mizoram as non-state entities have allegedly threatened to forcibly evict the minority Chakma villagers from Tuichawngchhuah village in south Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district.
The forum claimed that there were a total of 49 Chakma families comprising 224 persons residing at Tuichawngchhuah village which was established more than 40 years ago and officially recognised as a revenue village.
In the meeting with the minister on Monday, the MZP also raised the issue of inter-state boundary dispute with Assam.
The minister was told that the student body was firm on constructing resting shed at Zophai near Bairabi village on the Mizoram-Assam border, Renthlei said.
The minister on his part assured the students leaders that he would look into illegal villages and take necessary measure for their demolition, Renthlei said, adding that the minister would also take measure to ensure that a resting shed in constructed at Zophai.
Tension had erupted at Zophai along the Assam-Mizoram border on March 8 and 10 last year, when MZP functionaries attempted to construct a resting shed on the land, as claimed by the MZP, donated by former Mizoram chief minister Ch Chhunga’s wife Lalrothangi.
According to student leaders, at least 68 people, mostly students, were injured when Assam police allegedly resorted to lathicharge and firing to disperse the protesting students.
Mizoram Journalist Association (MJA), an umbrella body of all journalists in the state, had also claimed that at least eight journalists, who went for ground report, were allegedly brutally attacked and beaten up by Assam police despite flaunting their press credentials.