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Mizoram-Assam Border Dispute Resurfaces as 'Karimganj Officials' Destroy Hut and Plantation

Representative image.

Representative image.

The Mizoram government has alleged that administration, police and forest officials from Karimganj entered Mizoram's Mamit district and set a 'farm house' onfire and destroyed 1,000 betel nut plants at Thinghlun village on Friday afternoon.

The border dispute between Assam and Mizoram has resurfaced as officials from Assam's Karimganj district destroyed a hut and plantation in an area claimed by both the states. The Mizoram government has alleged that administration, police and forest officials from Karimganj entered Mizoram's Mamit district and set a 'farm house' onfire and destroyed 1,000 betel nut plants at Thinghlun village on Friday afternoon.

Karimganj 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 in Assam's side of the border which was encroached by some villagers from Mizoram. The incident has sparked anger in Mizoram as an FIR was registered with Kahnmun police station against the officials from Assam and the state's DGP SBK Singh spoke with his Assam counterpart Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta about the incident, an official said.

The Mizoram government will also write to the Union Home Ministry and the Assam administration about the incident, he said. Mamit district officials have visited the area and security forces have been deployed there to maintain peace.

Mizoram's apex students' body, the Mizo Zirlai Pawl(MZP) on Saturday held an emergency meeting and decided to reconstruct the farm house, its president B Vanlaltana said. "The incident is a grave insult and impudent contempt to the people of Mizoram," he said.

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The students' body has also decided to give monetary assistance to the two persons whose farm house and plantation were destroyed, he said. Another students' body, Mizo Students' Union (MSU) in a statement alleged that officials from Assam had also intimidated local volunteers guarding the state border to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Several rounds of talks since 1995 have failed to resolve the long-standing border dispute between the two northeastern states. Kolasib, Aizawl and Mamit districts of Mizoram share a 123-km-long border with south Assam's Cachar, Hailakandi andKarimganj districts.

The previous border stand-off had taken place in Zophai area near Bairabi town in Kolasib district of Mizoram in March, 2018 when MZP activists had tried to reconstruct arresting shed destroyed by Assam's Hailakandi district administration. More than 60 people, mostly students, were injured when Assam Police allegedly resorted to lathi-charge and opened fire to disperse the agitators.

The situation was brought under control after the Centre asked both Assam and Mizoram governments to maintainthe status quo till the issues were resolved.

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first published:October 10, 2020, 21:33 IST