Imphal: The Zomi Human Rights Foundation (ZHRF) general headquarters based in Manipur has strongly condemned the clashes along the Assam-Mizoram border which left many people injured.
In a statement issued on Monday, ZHRF secretary (Information and Publicity department) Zomang alleged that some miscreants from the Assam side of the border destroyed the plantation and damaged homestead of Zo people, which claimed as their blood brother, living within Mizoram bordering Assam.
As per reports, Saturday’s inter-border violence said to have erupted over territory issue between residents of Lailapur village in Assam’s Cachar district and locals of Vairengte village in Mizoram’s Kolasib district.
Similarly, on October 9, another clashed were reported when some betel nut plantation belonging to residents in Mizoram were set on fire by some miscreants, it said.
The attacked has escalated the volatile situation along the Assam- Mizoram border which was hitherto preceded by the unresolved disputes over the boundaries of the two states, said the Rights Foundation in a condemnation statement.
ZHRF also claimed that the disputed areas are their ancestral lands where their forefathers have been living for decades before the Colonial British annexed the entire Chin-Lushai country in 1889.
“We are historically, culturally and administratively different from the Valley Assam dwellers. Unfortunately, this part of Mizoram state remains un-demarcated during the NE Re-organization in 1971 and is inconclusive when Mizoram attained statehood in 1986,” said ZHRF.
This created loopholes for Bangladeshi migrants and other internal migrants from Assam state to illegally occupy our ancestral lands and attempted to forcibly drive out our people living in the borderland on several occasions, it added.
ZHRF also highlighted that at the time of humanitarian crisis enveloping the globe due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the closure of the national highways connecting Mizoram from Assam over the issue has caused severe hardships for the Zo people (Zo Fate) inhabiting Mizoram.
The very act of interrupting the chain of supply of essential commodities and closing of the only supply line from Assam also violated all existing humanitarian laws, alleged the foundation.
To ensure peace and safety measurement, the foundation has urged the concerned authorities to take immediate action to demarcate the Assam and Mizoram boundary based on historical facts and by the provisions of the North Eastern Frontier Re-Organization Act, 1971.
Moreover, ZHRF feels that erecting of permanent border signs on the ground would clear the water and bring peace in the areas.
The foundation also urged the government to immediately restored uninterrupted movements of essential goods, services and supplies along the National Highways connecting Mizoram from the state of Assam.
It may be worth mentioning that the border dispute generated from a notification of 1875 that differentiated Lushai Hills from the plains of Cachar, and another of 1933 that demarcates a boundary between Lushai Hills and Manipur.