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Assam-Mizoram is tense after a hut and plantation around it was allegedly destroyed by Karimganj district administration of Assam on Friday. Both states have laid claim to the disputed area.

Mizoram police alleged that the house was torched by officials of the district administration, police, and forest department from Karimganj, Assam. The farmhouse belonged to John Zolawma of Thinghlun village in Mamit district which borders Assam’s Karimganj district.

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Over 1,000 betel nut plants and vegetables in two farms-each owned by John and Ben Davida were destroyed claims the Mizoram government. On Saturday, Mamit district deputy commissioner and SP visited the site to take stock of the situation.

An FIR was registered at Kanhmun police station, and personnel from the 4th Indian Reserve Battalion are camping in the area to avoid any further arson.

Mizoram DGP, SBK Singh spoke to his Assam counterpart regarding this matter. Chief secretary Lalnumawia Chuaungo, also met various top officials of the home department and police to discuss the development on Saturday.

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According to top sources in the Mizoram government, officials blamed the district administration of Karimganj, Assam. The state government will raise the issue with the Union home ministry and the government of Assam.

Mizoram’s apex student’s body, the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) also held an emergency meeting over the incident on Saturday.

There, MZP President B Vanlatana said that they blame the Karimganj district administration for this incident and will rebuild the farmhouse as well. He added that the student’s body agreed to give monetary assistance to the two victims.

The Mizo Students’ Union (MSU), in a statement blamed the Karimganj district administration for the incident and also alleged that the officials from Assam and police “intimidated” local volunteers who were guarding the inter-state border to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The border disputes between the two states of Assam and Mizoram has been a long-standing one and has remained unresolved. Kolasib, Aizwal, and Mamit districts of Mizoram share a 123 km long border with Cachar, Hailakandi, and Karimganj districts of Assam.

It was in March 2018 that the last border stand-off took place at Zophai or Karchurtal area near Bairabi town in Kolasib district along the Assam- Mizoram border. There, functionaries of MZP attempted to re-construct a wooden resting shed which was destroyed by the Hailaikandi district administration.

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This incident resulted in protests and over 60 people (which included mostly students) were injured when Assam police resorted to lathi-charge and gunfire to disperse the protesting students. This was, however, brought under control after the intervention of the centre who asked both the state governments to maintain a status quo till issues are resolved.

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