Assam Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua on Wednesday said that central forces are soon arriving in the state for deployment along the interstate border with Mizoram. After the forces arrive "in a day or two", they would be deployed along the border areas in Cachar and Karimganj districts, Barua told reporters.
"When the forces come, there will be peace on both sides (of the border)," he said. The chief secretary directed the Cachar and Karimganj district administration authorities to maintain constant vigil along the interstate border with Mizoram at Lailapur and Medlicherra to "thwart the sinister design of certain forces to disturb peace in the area".
The chief secretary and the Director General of Police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta reviewed the law and order, along the interstate border with Mizoram, with the deputy commissioners, SPs, DIG southern range, IGP, DFOs and other officials. The chief secretary said that they had come here, as per instructions of the Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, to assess the law and order and to meet the kin of the victim who "died at the hands of miscreants on the other side of the border".
An ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh was handed over to the kin of the victim, he said. "I am concerned that an innocent life was lost possibly due to the handiwork of miscreants. We would like to have a detailed inquiry into it," Barua said.
Tension had been prevailing along the Assam-Mizoram border since last month, after several dwelling units were damaged by miscreants, following which talks were held between the officials of the two states. The situation turned grimmer following the death of 45-year-old Intazul Laskar, a resident of Cachar district, with the Assam government claiming that he was abducted, and Mizoram officials stating that he was a drug peddler, who sustained serious injuries while trying to escape and died.
A senior police officer in Mizoram had said that Laskar, who was arrested with 420 mg of heroin, died on Monday at a hospital in Vairengte, after having sustained injuries while trying to escape, when Young Mizo Association volunteers spotted him with the drug packets. Appealing to all to show restraint, the Assam chief secretary said, the state government is taking all possible measures to find a peaceful solution to the problem.
He termed the prevailing situation on the border front as both a law and order issue as well as a border dispute arising out of claims by Mizoram. "Peace is of paramount importance as you are aware it is an interstate issue…between two different communities and there is no question of not doing it other than through peaceful means.
"There is no point in escalating tension…no point in increasing our own problems. We have to work within the four walls of the law," he said. The chief secretary said that the Assam Government is 'absolutely clear' about the "constitutional boundary" of Assam which is clearly defined by the Mizoram Act of 1986.
"We are absolutely clear about our constitutional boundary as clearly defined by the Mizoram Act of 1986 when Mizoram was created. "Our official stand is that the constitutional boundary of Assam is sacrosanct and we will stick to that", he said.
Certain elements are playing a major part in "stoking fire", Barua said.