Guwahati: An inter-State flare-up is always condemnable, but the latest one from the Mizoram-Assam border was really shocking as it resulted in the killing of five police personnel and injuring over 50 others including the Cachar district police chief Vaibhav Nimbalkar, whose injury is understood serious.
Shockingly the violent incident took place within 48 hours of Union home minister Amit Shah’s visit to northeast India where he even met both the concerned chief ministers namely Pu Zoramthanga and Himanta Biswa Sarma, who incidentally happens to be the convener of BJP promoted north east democratic alliance (NEDA).
CM Sarma, who was at Haflong in Dima Hasao hills district on Monday evening, made a tweet confirming the death of Assam police personnel while safeguarding the constitutional boundary of the State. The deceased were later identified as Swapan Roy (SI), Liton Suklabaidya, MH Barbhuiya, N Hussain and S Barbhuiya. Assam police officials revealed that miscreants from the other side started pelting stones and later firing on the police team went for inspection to Lailapur border point, under Cachar district of Barak valley. However, unconfirmed sources claimed that Mizoram police forces encouraged those elements to continue the attacks.
Home minister Shah had already talked to Zoramthanga and Sarma, both of whom were engaged in twitter debates over the matter, urging them to ensure peace along the disputed border areas. Meanwhile, the central reserve police force (CRPF) personnel were deployed at the affected Lailapur-Vairengte disputed areas to help both the State police forces to maintain law and order situation.
Mizoram home minister Lalchamliana was smart enough to issue an official statement over the clash claiming that their police policemen only responded spontaneously to a group of 200 Assam officials when forcibly crossing a duty post manned by CRPF personnel and overran another post manned by Mizoram police. Tear gas grenades were launched at Mizoram police followed by firing from Assam side, he asserted.
Visiting promptly to take stock of the ground situation, Sarma paid last respects to the departed souls and wished early recoveries for those undergoing treatments at Silchar medical college hospital. He clarified that there was no firing from Assam’s side, but the police personnel are determined to maintain territorial boundary of the State. Meanwhile, Zoramthanga twitted a video clipping on 26 July, where a Mizo couple were seen in a ransacked brand new vehicle arguing that the innocent couple was on way back to Mizoram via Cachar, but they were manhandled by ‘thugs and goons’ in Assam areas. Various Mizo individuals claim that those hooligans are suspected nationals (read Bangladeshi Muslims) taking shelter in border arears.
Assam government has lately declared that the families of deceased police personnel will be offered rupees 50 lakh and one family member to get a government job. Moreover, all the injured individuals will be given rupees one lakh each. The government also decided to raise three new commando battalions for Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi, bordering Mizo districts of Kolasib and Mamit.