Solution to Assam-Mizoram border row will take time: Officials

It would take some more time to resolve the Assam-Mizoram border row as it has to go through a certain process and mechanism, Assam director general of police (special-border wing) Mukesh Agarwal said in Silchar on October 19.

Agarwal said that the border issue has to be resolved through a conciliatory approach and not through confrontation.

He said: “It may take some more time to resolve the border row as it has to go through a certain process and mechanism. We are optimistic that it would be resolved at the highest level.”

Talking to the media, Agarwal, who along with other officials are camping in Cachar district to deal with the Assam-Mizoram border troubles, said the first priority is to defuse the tension along the inter-state border and restore complete normalcy.

He said that concerted efforts are on to ensure the movement of Mizoram bound goods trucks stranded on the Assam side of the border.

He appealed to the people living on both sides of the border to maintain the bonhomie and camaraderie that exist between them and to live in peaceful co-existence.

An official release said that a district superintendent level meeting was held between Cachar district police chief Bhanwar Lal Meena and his Kolasib district counterpart (Mizoram) Vanlalfaka Ralte to resolve the border tensions amicably and to avert any untoward incident in the near future.

“Both the sides resolved to ensure that peace and tranquility prevailed along the inter-state border. In this context, they decided to go for confidence building measures to restore lasting peace along the border,” the release said.

The officials of both the states have decided to take immediate steps for movement of stranded trucks along the inter-state border. Both the sides agreed to provide point-to-point escort to instil confidence among the truckers. Efforts were on for hassle-free movement of trucks till late evening hours on October 19.

The truckers’ association which took part in the meeting was taken into confidence and was urged to prevail upon the truckers and helpers to move on to lessen the hardships of people of both the states.

Mizoram Home department in a press release issued in Aizawl said that the state government would ensure security to the vehicles carrying goods into Mizoram.

“The government of Mizoram regrets to note that goods carrying vehicles have stopped entering the state from Assam since the afternoon of October 16 for reasons unknown. This harms the interest of every stakeholder.

“The state government assures that the drivers from Assam and other parts of the country and their vehicles are safe inside Mizoram and that it will continue to do everything possible for their safety inside the state,” the release said.

A similar joint press release was issued by three NGOs – Young Mizo Association, Mizo Zirlai Pawl and Mizo Student Union.

The situation on the Assam-Mizoram border took an ugly turn with more than 15 shops and houses burnt and over 50 people injured in the attacks and counter attacks by the people living along the borders on October 17.

The police said that Cachar district police have approached their Mizoram counterparts in a bid to dispel the problem and prevent clashes between people from both sides.

Around 300 Mizoram-bound goods laden vehicles, mostly trucks, are now stranded in Cachar district and their drivers and owners have refused to enter Mizoram without proper security.

The Mizoram government had alleged that the officials of Karimganj district administration, police and forest department entered Western Mizoram’s Mamit district and set a farm house on fire and destroyed 1,000 betel nut plants at Thinghlun village on October 9.

Karimganj district Additional Superintendent of Police Jyoti Ranjan Nath, however, said officials from Assam destroyed a temporary shed and some cultivation and not betel nut plantation in Choto Bubir Bandh area on the Assam side of the border which was encroached by some villagers from Mizoram.

Mizoram shares a 164.6 km border with Assam.

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