Houses torched, 7 injured in Assam-Mizoram border clash

Three persons were injured and several huts were torched on the Assam-Mizoram border on Saturday night in a flare up of border dispute between the two states, officials said.

Seven persons from Mizoram side were injured when villagers of Lailapur in Cachar district of Assam clashed with residents of Vairengte in Kolasib district, Mizoram’s Directorate of Information and Public Relations said..

The clashes reportedly started after some people from the Mizoram side torched some huts made by Lailapur residents on a disputed portion of the border between the two states.

Assam forest and environment minister Parimal Suklabaidya along with senior bureaucrats and police officers reached the spot on Sunday and took stock of the situation there.

Blaming the incident on “miscreants from the other side of the border”, the minister urged everyone to remain calm and assured the state government would provide necessary security to the residents.

“We got a report last night that some temporary huts were burnt. Police were immediately rushed to the spot and the situation was brought under control. Security has been beefed up in the area and we are engaged in talks with our Mizoram counterparts,” said Cachar’s superintendent of police Bhanwar Lal Meena.

Saturday’s incident comes a week after a similar flare up between both states on the border along Karimganj district of Assam and Mamit district of Mizoram.

In Mizoram, the state cabinet met on Sunday and “expressed regret at the unilateral and provocative acts of disturbing peace and harmony in the border areas at three locations”.

The cabinet blamed the Karimganj and Cachar district administrations in Assam as being responsible for the flare up and urged the Assam government to take urgent measures to restore normalcy in the border areas.

“The government of Mizoram appeals to all persons not to attempt to use the present crisis to further their personal or collective motives,” said a statement issued by Mizoram’s home department.

On Sunday Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal called up the offices of the Prime Minister and Union home minister Amit Shah and apprised them about the situation. He also spoke with Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga and both agreed to resolve the issue through talks, officials said.

Both Assam and Mizoram have approached the Centre to intervene in the matter and resolve the long standing border dispute between the two states.

Chief secretaries of both states will have a meeting through video conference with union home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla on Monday to discuss the latest flare up.

Assam and Mizoram share a 165 km long boundary. Mizoram was part of Assam till 1972 when it became a union territory and a state in 1987. Border disputes between the two states keep occurring intermittently.

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