Representational image Credit: Representational image

Aizawl: Joint village councils and various civil bodies in Mizoram-Assam border town, Bairabi has asked Mizoram’s apex student body Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) not to construct a resting shed at Zophai on the border area.

Bairabi joint village councils chairman R Lalfakawma told EastMojo that they had written a letter to the Bairabi sub-headquarters of MZP, aksing the student body not to lay hand or construct any structure along the border areas on Saturday.

Copies of the letter were also sent to Kolasib district deputy commissioner and president of MZP general headquarters in Aizawl, he said.

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He said that the decision not to construct any structure on the disputed land was taken at the meeting of joint village councils and all NGOs in the town on Saturday so that tension and misunderstanding between Mizoram and Assam is prevented.

According to Lalfakawma, the Centre had earlier instructed both the state governments to maintain status quo along the border areas. He said that local leaders would take massive effort to prevent any intrusion from Assam.

Meanwhile, MZP president L Ramdinliana Renthlei said that the student body was firm on constructing a resting shed at Zophai. He said that they are yet to receive letter from Bairabi village councils.

Renthlei blamed the state government for not worrying about the border issue. He said that they had met chief minister Zoramthanga and home minister Lalchamliana several times but to no avail. “We demand the state government to pay sincere attention to resolving Mizoram-Assam border dispute at the earliest,” he said.

In March, 2018 the MZP had constructed a wooden resting shed at Zophai area on a plot of land, which it claimed, was donated by former Mizoram chief minister Ch Chhunga’s wife Lalrothangi.

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Few days later, the Assam police destroyed the resting shed and guarded the area.

Tension erupted on the disputed land on March 8 and 10, when MZP functionaries attempted to reconstruct resting shed there. Several students including local journalists were injured in police clash.

The simmering tension was defused with the intervention of the Centre, asking both the state governments to maintain status quo.

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