The Assam Rifles has long been engaged in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations in the Northeastern states. Credit: File Image

Aizawl: The Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) has directed Assam Rifles to shift its battalion headquarters from the heart of Aizawl to Zokhawsang, about 15 km from the state capital, an official said on Monday.

The notification issued by the MHA on February 19, which was intimated to the state government last weekend, directed Assam Rifles to shift the battalion headquarters of the security forces by May 31, the official said.

He added that the official order also directed Assam Rifles authorities to submit action taken report to the ministry on the shifting of the battalion headquarters from Aizawl to Zokhawsang area.

The battalion headquarters of Assam Rifles has been installed at the heart of Aizawl city for many years much before Mizoram attained statehood. At present, it is located at Zodin and Treasury square near state assembly hall.

In its manifesto before the state assembly in November last year, the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) had promised that it will take measure to ensure that Assam Rifles battalion headquarters is shifted from Aizawl to the designated Zokhawsang.

Meanwhile, state land revenue & settlement minister Lalruatkima said that the MNF has been demanding the shifting of AR battalion headquarters to Zokhawsang area during the time of MNF founder president and former chief minister Laldenga in the later part of 1980s.

Heaping praise on chief minister Zoramthanga, he said officials of home ministry under the leadership of additional secretary (police) convened a meeting on February 14 putting “shifting of AR battalion headquarters” as its main agenda after the chief minister held talks with the centre..

He said the meeting came out with a resolution to shift the battalion headquarters from Aizawl to Zokhawsang.

Lalruatkima also said that shifting order of AR headquarters was already issued in 2007 during the previous MNF government and Rs 117 lakh was sanctioned for the purpose.

But the order remained unpursued after the MNF lost power to Congress in the state assembly pools in 2008, he added.

He said that the entire land will directly go to the government after shifting of the headquarters and no individual will be allowed to buy the land.

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