Tension has flared up at the Assam-Mizoram border yet again with both the states blaming each other over a firing incident that is said to have left three persons injured in Hailakandi district of Assam early on Tuesday.
The incident comes around three weeks after the bloodbath in Cachar district of Assam in which six Assam Police personnel were killed when their Mizoram counterparts opened fire on them over the interstate border dispute on July 26.
Hailakandi district deputy commissioner Rohan Jha told Outlook that some persons from Mizoram had entered nearly a kilometer inside Assam in the Bilaipur area of the district at around 2 am on Tuesday.
“It was curfew time and policemen on duty in the area challenged them at which they opened fire. The police had to fire back,” he said. He said these infiltrators were actually targeting a hillock in the area. “It was an attempt at land-grabbing,” he said.
Mizoram, however, disputes Assam’s claim saying the police had fired on three innocent civilians injuring them. In a letter to Jha, his Kolasib district counterpart H Lalthlangliana said that the three residents of Vairengte sub-division – Lalchhandama, Lalduhawmi and Vanlalrovi – were called by one Nibus, a resident of Bilaipur, to meet him at Aitlang Tlangpui to take routine delivery of meat.
“On reaching the place, they heard a loud whistle from Nibus. However, on whistling back the Assam Police who were on duty immediately opened fire towards them,” the letter stated adding that they sustained minor injuries.
A criminal case has been registered at the Variengte police station in this connection. “You are therefore requested to look into the matter and take immediate action so that such incident that can escalate tension and create law and order issue at the Mizoram-Assam interstate border is avoided,” he said.
Police from both the states were at the site and the situation was said to be under control. Last week, a school in the district was allegedly bombed by miscreants from Mizoram causing partial damage to the building.
Hailakandi district shares a 99-kilometre border with Mizoram’s Mamit and Kolasib districts of the total 164.6-kilometre border between the two states.
The interstate border dispute has been pending for long since Mizoram does not accept the present boundary and wants to revert to the demarcation laid down in the British-era notification of 1875, but Assam is firm on going by the constitutional boundary.
The July 26 incident has resulted in both sides sitting across the table to begin negotiations in an effort to find an amicable solution.