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Assam, Mizoram Home Secretaries To Meet To Resolve Border Row

Silchar (Assam)/Aizawl:  The Home Secretaries of Assam and Mizoram would hold a meeting on Wednesday to resolve the fortnight-long border trouble even as the latter said that they are exploring the possibilities of transporting essential goods through Manipur and Tripura, and even via neighbouring Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Assam’s Director General of Police (Special – Border Wing) Mukesh Agarwal said that state Home Secretary Gyanendra Dev Tripathi and his Mizoram counterpart Lalbiaksangi would meet in Cachar district of southern Assam to discuss and resolve the border issues.

He also said that drivers of the trucks and other vehicles, stranded in southern Assam are reluctant to go to Mizoram without adequate security.

Agarwal, who along with other senior officials are camping in Cachar district to deal with the Assam-Mizoram border troubles, said that the issue must be solved immediately for the interest of the people of both states.

Tripathi, who was also present, said that the Assam government would provide financial assistance to the 21 affected families of Lailapur whose huts and shops were burnt by the miscreants from Mizoram on Saturday. He said Mizoram has also been asked to withdraw its security personnel from Assam’s territory.

Meanwwhile, a Mizoram government release said that Union Home Minister Amit Shah had spoken to Chief Minister Zoramthanga and “offered all possible help towards easing of tensions and return to normalcy”.

It also said that Zoramthanga had also mentioned that in “view of blockade of the national highway (NH 306), which is the lifeline of essential goods for the people of Mizoram”, the government will explore possibilities of transporting essential goods through the neighbouring states of Manipur and Tripura, and even from the neighbouring countries of Myanmar and Bangladesh.

However, the statement said that Shah assured the Chief Minister that such drastic steps would not be necessary and hoped that the impasse would be resolved as early as possible.

It said that Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also spoke to Zoramthanga and expressed his regrets over the incidents which happened at the border areas and assured him that the movement of goods through Assam would be ensured.

Both Assam and Mizoram have deployed huge security forces in the violence-hit areas near Vairengte village in Mizoram and Assam’s Lailapur.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah on Monday assured Sonowal of taking appropriate steps to improve the situation on the inter-state border with Mizoram, as per an Assam government release.

The situation on the Assam-Mizoram border took an ugly turn since earlier this month with more than 15 shops and houses burnt and over 50 people injured in the attacks and counter attacks by the people living along the borders on Saturday.

Over 300 Mizoram-bound goods laden vehicles, mostly trucks, are now stranded in Cachar district and their drivers and owners refused to enter Mizoram without adequate security.

The Mizoram government had earlier alleged that officials of Assam’s Karimganj district administration, police and forest department entered its Mamit district and set a “farm house” on fire and destroyed 1,000 betel nut plants at Thinghlun village on October 9.

Karimganj’s Additional Superintendent of Police Jyoti Ranjan Nath, however, said they had “only demolished a temporary shed and some cultivation” in Choto Bubir Bandh area on Assam’s side of the border which was encroached by some villagers from Mizoram.

(IANS)

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