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'Can't Talk & Have Tea, Need to React': Did Meghalaya BJP Leader Support Mizoram MP's Threat to Assam Cops?

At least five Assam Police personnel were killed while defending the “constitutional boundary" of the state with Mizoram and more than 60 people injured.

At least five Assam Police personnel were killed while defending the “constitutional boundary" of the state with Mizoram and more than 60 people injured.

Shullai's statement comes amid the festering border dispute between the Assam and Mizoram that erupted into a bloody conflict on July 26.

Amid the Assam-Mizoram border clash, Meghalaya labour minister and BJP leader has hailed “kill them all" remark by Mizoram’s Rajya Sabha MP K Vanlalvena. Sanbor Shullai, the newly-inducted cabinet minister from South Shillong, on Friday said that it is high time that Meghalaya should utilize its police force to protect the inter-state borders.

Speaking to media persons after taking charge of office, Shullai said police along with the people of Mizoram have proved that they love and they are together to protect their identity. “…this spirit should be with us, the public and the police if the people of Assam keep on harassing our people in the border area. Time has come not only to talk and have tea…we have to react, we have to act at the spot only," he asserted.

Stating that he is not supporting violence, Shullai, however, said, “This is an example that we should have the spirit to protect our people we have to utilise our force – the police should go in the front to talk with the Assam police."

“Like what we have seen from time to time the police are behind, the civilians are in the front. The higher ups should give orders that police should be in the front to protect and that they should not cross the line of control," the minister added.

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Shullai’s statement comes amid the festering border dispute between the Assam and Mizoram that erupted into a bloody conflict on July 26 after a police personnel from Assam and a civilian were killed while defending the “constitutional boundary" of the state with Mizoram. More than 50 people were injured in the incident.

As the clashes gained momentum, Mizoram’s lone Rajya Sabha MP K Vanlalvena reportedly said outside Parliament, “More than 200 policemen entered our territory and they pushed back our policemen from our own posts and they gave firing orders first, before we fired. They are lucky that we didn’t kill them all. If they come again, we shall kill them all."

The issue has since then snowballed with chief ministers and top officers of both the states getting involved. While Mizoram booked Assam police officers, the former sent summonses to the later. An FIR was also filed against Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who recently advised his state residents against visiting Mizoram.

Following the FIR, Sarma said that he “will be very happy to join in any investigation". But asked why wasn’t the case being handed over to a “neutral agency", especially when the place of occurrence is “well within the constitutional territory of Assam".

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first published:July 31, 2021, 14:47 IST