The state government did not take any measures to either vacate Assam officials or construct resting shed at Zophai within a stipulated time, said MZP president L Ramdinliana Renthlei

Aizawl: Mizoram’s apex student body, Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), will stage a protest rally on Friday after the state government failed to vacate Assam forest department officials from a disputed land near Lailapoor along the inter-state border.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference here on Wednesday, MZP president L Ramdinliana Renthlei said that Assam forest department has recently occupied an old security forces building near Vairengte or Lailapoor along the National Highway-54 on the Mizoram-Assam border, breaching the status quo.

He said that they had appealed the state government to vacate the Assam officials on or before July 12 failing which the state government should construct a resting shed at Zophai area near Bairabi town along the Mizoram-Assam border, where border standoff erupted in March last year.

The student body had also threatened massive protest rally if the government fails to fulfill both the demands, Renthlei said, adding that the state government did not take any measures to either vacate Assam officials or construct resting shed at Zophai within a stipulated time.

“We decided to go ahead with our plan to stage a massive protest rally in Aizawl as a clarion call to protect Mizoram’s territory,” Renthlei voiced.

The student leader also said that the meeting of core committee on border held on Wednesday asked the student body to cancel the proposed rally.

“We can’t withdraw from our decision as the meeting did not make any promise to take measure as regard to border issue,” he stated.

According to Renthlei, tension eruption at Zophai in March 2018 when MZP functionaries attempted to re-construct a wooden resting shed, which was destroyed by Assam government just overnight of the construction.

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He alleged that several people, including local journalists were injured when Assam police resorted to lathi charge to disperse the protesting students and a core committee on border was constituted based on the decision of the meeting of Mizoram and Assam government under the Centre in April 2018.

Renthlei further said that minor clash occurred when Assam forest department renovated and occupied an old building of security forces near Vairengte on the inter-state boundary on July 6.

He alleged, it was a breach of law on the part of the Assam government as both the state governments have agreed to maintain status quo according to the Centre’s directive.

Renthlei said that the MZP would not budge an inch from the state’s boundary and continue to protect it till the end. The student leader also asserted that the student body would mount pressure on the state government to construct resting shed at Zophai.

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