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Indian Army personnel patrolling the border
Indian Army personnel patrolling the border|Representational image
NEWS

Mizoram complains to Centre on military build-up along borders

State govt expresses disappointment over deployment of a large number of Army and Central Armed Police Forces personnel in villages along Myanmar border without its knowledge

Henry L Khojol

Aizawl: The Mizoram government has lodged a complaint with the Centre over the reported military build-up in the state, where in it has expressed disappointment over the deployment of a large number of Indian Army and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) personnel in villages along the Mizoram-Myanmar border without the state’s government’s knowledge, officials said on Tuesday.

An official in the state home department said that the state’s chief secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo, on the instruction of chief minister Zoramthanga, has written to the Union ministry of home affairs and defence ministry informing them that the deployment of additional forces in border villages along the Indo-Myanmar border in the pretext of “routine exercise” without informing the state government was against the norms.

The state government is of the view that “law and order” is a state subject and sending a large numbers of troops to Mizoram, the most peaceful state in the country, that also without informing the state government is a clear violation of the spirit of federalism, he said.

The MHA and defence ministry were informed that they should at least send prior information to the state government if security forces were sent to safeguard the border area even if they are not being deployed for a law and order problem, he added.

The People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM), a corruption watchdog turned political party, has also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking clarification on the present military build-up in southernmost Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district and also urged him to permanently revoke the order giving a sweeping power to Assam Rifles to arrest and search a place without a warrant in five Northeastern states, including Mizoram, which was kept in abeyance.

In a letter to the Prime Minister on Monday, Prism said Mizoram has six international border districts – Champhai, Serchhip, Lunglei, Saiha, Lawngtlai and Mamit -- where there is neither disturbance nor law and order problem.

In a separate letter, Prism also asked National Human Right Commission (NHRC) to monitor the presence of large number of Indian Army along the state’s border with Myanmar.

Meanwhile, Zo Re-Unification Organisation (ZORO), the Chin-Kuki- Mizo-Zomi group organisation which seeks re-unification of all Zo people and bringing them under one administrative unit, slammed the Centre for its attempt to give warrant power to Assam Rifles under various sections of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

A statement issued by the organisation on Tuesday also slammed the restriction of civilian movement by Indian Army in the name of “routine exercise” in border villages in Lawngtlai district.

Some scribes also alleged that they were denied entry to the border villages by Indian troops when they tried to do ground report, which according to them was a case of violation of freedom of speech.