The governments of Assam and Mizoram dialled the centre on Sunday to discuss the situation at the states’ border after a violent clash in which several people were injured. The situation is now under control in the area, which is in Kolasib district of Mizoram and Cachar district of Assam, both sides said.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office and the Union Home Ministry. He also spoke to Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga on the phone and stressed on joint efforts to address the border issues and settling disputes amicably, the Assam government said in a statement. Mr Zoramthanga assured Mr Sonowal of efforts to maintain peace at the inter-state border and cooperation, it added.
The Mizoram government also reached out to the centre to defuse the situation. The state government said it held a cabinet meeting to discuss the violence and blamed it on “unilateral and provocative acts” and “transgressions committed by the Government of Assam”.
A meeting chaired by Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla between both the states will be held on Monday to review the situation, Mizoram Home Minister Lalchamliana said. Chief secretaries of the two states will be present in the meeting, he said.
The two states have deployed a large number of security personnel in the violence-hit areas near the Vairengte village in Mizoram and Assam’s Lailapur, officials said. Hundreds of vehicles including trucks carrying essential commodities to Mizoram are stranded at the border in Vairengte.
The violence erupted on Saturday after people living on both sides of the border clashed over a COVID-19 testing centre set up by Mizoram within territory claimed by Assam to sample Mizoram-bound truckers and other people without the permission of the Assam authority.
According to locals, some young men from the Mizoram side of the border came to Lailapur and attacked truck drivers and villagers and burnt more than 15 small shops and houses. The locals also retaliated.
In neighbouring Karimganj district too there was tension with both Mizoram and Assam police increasing security cover after border disputes in Ratabari and Patharkandi areas.
“In both Cachar and Karimganj, Mizoram police came inside Assam territory. In Lailapur, they tried to build a check-gate 1.5 km inside Assam. We have objected to it. In Karimganj, they are 2.5 km inside our territory. Our forces are deployed there as well,” said Southern Assam range Deputy Inspector General of Police Dilip Kumar Dey.
Meanwhile, tension has also been building up at the Tripura-Mizoram border over the past couple of days. According to officials in Mizoram’s Mamit district, large gatherings have been banned in Phuldungsei, Zampui and Zomuantlang villages because of the proposed construction of a temple in the area by an indigenous organisation of Tripura.
Mizoram Home Secretary Lalbiaksangi, in a letter to her Tripura counterpart Barun Kumar Sahu said there was an “apprehension of a breakdown of law and order and communal clashes” and that they have requested the Survey of India for a joint spot verification to settle the dispute.