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Mizoram to Partly Withdraw Forces from Assam Border, BSF to Be Deployed

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

Addressing the press after the meeting, Mizoram Chief Secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo said a unanimous decision was taken that Mizoram will withdraw its forces from the disputed areas and the blockade on National Highway-306 on the Assam side will be lifted. The traffic movement from Assam is likely to resume on Sunday evening or Monday, he said.

Mizoram would withdraw a section of its forces from the border with Assam and BSF personnel will be deployed in their place, a senior official here said on Sunday. The decision was taken at a meeting, chaired by Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, between the chief secretaries of Assam and Mizoram, he said.

Addressing the press after the meeting, Mizoram Chief Secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo said a unanimous decision was taken that Mizoram will withdraw its forces from the disputed areas and the blockade on National Highway-306 on the Assam side will be lifted. The traffic movement from Assam is likely to resume on Sunday evening or Monday, he said.

Residents of Lailapur village and nearby areas in Assam's Cachar district are on an economic blockade since October 28, demanding the withdrawal of Mizoram forces from what they claimed as Assam's territory, officials said. Mizoram refused to budge, claiming that state forces are deployed within its territory.

Chuaungo said the main agenda of the chief secretary- level meeting was to find a short-term solution — withdrawal of forces and lifting of the blockade. "We will pull out a part of our forces to deploy BSF personnel in the disputed areas. The blockade in Assam will also be lifted and traffic movement is likely to resume on Sunday evening or Monday," he said.

Chuaungo said the Centre was keen on resolving the inter-state dispute between Mizoram and Assam, and is constantly in touch with both the governments. Three companies of the Border Security Force (BSF) have arrived in the state on Saturday, he said.

One company and two platoons of BSF will be deployed at Vairengte, two platoons at Saihapui 'V' village in Kolasib district and one company at Thinghlun village in the Mamit district. However, a section of the state forces will remain deployed on the disputed areas to maintain peace among the Mizo people, he said.

The border dispute between Mizoram and Assam intensified on October 9 when a hut and plantations were destroyed allegedly by officials of Assam's Karimganj district on a farmland near Thinghlun village in west Mizoram's Mamit district. The tension further escalated when residents of Vairengte in Mizoram's Kolasib set on fire several temporary bamboo huts and stalls during a violent clash on the night of October 17. At least seven people from Mizoram and few others from Assam were injured in the clash.

Though several dialogues were held, normalcy could not be restored in the area.

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