Troops arrived at Vathuampui and other neighbouring villages in south-western Lawngtlai district on February 11. Credit: EastMojo Image

Aizawl: After fear mongering in connection with the movement of Indian Army to Indo-Myanmar border were doing round on social media, Assam Rifles on Saturday said the troops are conducting ‘routine exercise’ in southern Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district bordering Myanmar.

A senior officer in the Assam Rifles told EastMojo that a joint training exercise was conducted by three battalions of Assam Rifles in southern Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district along the Indo-Myanmar border.

He said that the troops arrived at Vathuampui and other neighbouring villages in south-western Lawngtlai district on February 11.

They opened free clinic for residents of Vathuampui village on Wednesday, he added.

Rubbishing the rumours that Assam Rifles personnel were herding the local residents, the officer said local leaders and NGO leaders were called, briefed and cautioned not to venture near border areas as the troops are conducting routine exercise.

He said that the troops were sent to take up humanitarian work but not to cause public trouble.

Local leaders of Vathuampui also said the Indian troops apart from organising free medical camp and providing food items, instructed the residents not to venture out in the forest to avoid accidental happenings as they are conducting routine exercise.

The order, however, was lifted after two days as per which villagers were allowed to forage in forest, they said.

Earlier, rumours were circulated on social networking sites like facebook and messaging apps Whatsapp that encounter took place between Indian troops and Myanmar based rebel group Arakan Army (AA) at Vathuampui in which two jawans were killed.

The Assam Rifles personnel were also reportedly assembling the villagers and imposing curfew at Vathuampui village, which sparked off panic.

Rubbishing the rumours as “baseless,” police expressed regret for fear mongering and cautioned people against misuse of social media.

Reports said that two additional companies of Assam Rifles were sent to south Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district on the Indo-Myanmar border after reported fresh clashes between Myanmar Army and Arakan Army.

They were to be deployed in south-western Lawngtlai district to prevent entry of militants and facilitate refugees, the reports said.

Sources also said that the Indian Army has discovered a dead body purportedly belonging to Arakan Army militant with a Chinese ID during routine exercise.

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