Assam, Mizoram CMs spar on Twitter over border clashes; Amit Shah intervenes
- Shah asked both chief ministers, Sarma and Zoramthanga to cordially sort out the issue. Police personnel have withdrawn from the disputed site.
Home minister Amit Shah on Monday stepped in to restore calm after tensions erupted at the Assam-Mizoram border, people familiar with the developments told news agency ANI. Both chief ministers who engaged in a Twitter spat earlier spoke to Shah and agreed to resolve the issues between the two states. People familiar with the developments also said that police forces of both states have returned from the disputed site.
Mizoram deputy inspector general of police (northern range) Lalbiakthanga Khiangte said that unidentified persons set fire to eight unoccupied farm huts near Aitlang stream on Sunday around 11:30pm, news agency PTI reported.
However, Assam police claimed that at least half a dozen of its officials were injured in Cachar district after unidentified persons pelted stones at them on Monday. The locals also alleged that Assam Police personnel were attacked with sticks and rods at Lailapur, according to another report by PTI.
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday took to Twitter to express his concern after reports of firing and unrest breaking out at the Assam-Mizoram border surfaced. Sarma posted a video tagging Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga saying that unidentified persons have threatened to create unrest at the border. Later on in the day, Sarma tweeted that six Assam Police personnel also lost their lives due to the clashes in the Assam-Mizoram border.
Mizoram CM Zoramthanga alleged that the government of Assam 'intruded' into Mizoram's territory and showed 'aggression'. He also said that the loss of lives 'on both sides could have been avoided.' Zoramthanga also confirmed that the duty post have been handed back to CRPF personnel and said that he expects that the government of the neighbouring state will create a 'congenial environment' to resolve the dispute.
"Govt of Mizoram strongly condemns unjustified act of the Govt of Assam in this intrusion and aggression into the territory of Mizoram. The Government of Mizoram deeply regrets the needless injuries on both sides which could have been avoided," Zoramthanga said.
"The Government of Mizoram desires that the inter-state border issue with Assam be resolved in an atmosphere of peace and understanding. Accordingly, we call upon the State of Assam to create a congenial environment for peaceful resolution of the dispute," he further added.
Both the chief minister tagged home minister Amit Shah in their tweets whom they had met last week at an event where all chief ministers of northeastern states had convened. Not only that but they also tagged the Prime Minister’s Office in their tweets.
Sarma alleged that the superintendent of police of Kolasib in Mizoram asked Assam police to withdraw from their post, failing which “their civilians” will “not stop violence”.
“Hon'ble @ZoramthangaCM ji , Kolasib ( Mizoram) SP is asking us to withdraw from our post until then their civilians won't listen nor stop violence. How can we run a government in such circumstances? Hope you will intervene at earliest @AmitShah @PMOIndia,” Sarma tweeted with a video of the incident.
Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga, on the other hand, tweeted with a video that showed a couple returning to Assam via Cachar were allegedly manhandled.
“Innocent couple on their way back to Mizoram via Cachar manhandled and ransacked by thugs and goons. How are you going to justify these violent acts?” Zoramthanga tweeted, tagging the official Twitter handle of the Cachar Police. Zoramthanga also tweeted a video where unidentified people armed with sticks were seen engaged in a scuffle with security forces.
Zoramthanga claimed that two companies of Assam Police along with several civilians baton charged at civilians and hurled tear gas canisters inside the Vairengte auto rickshaw stand inside Mizoram.
Later both chief ministers said that they held discussions with each other where Sarma expressed his willingness to travel to Aizawl to discuss the issues with Zoramthanga.
Zoramthanga reiterated his request to Himanta Biswa Sarma to ‘withdraw Assam Police officials from Vairengte’. “Hon'ble @himantabiswa ji, as discussed I kindly urge that Assam Police @assampolice be instructed to withdraw from Vairengte for the safety of civilians.
Mizoram and Assam were involved in a tussle regarding the border issue after Assam Police took control of an area known as 'Aitlang hnar' about 5 km from Vairengte, accusing Mizoram of encroaching into its Assamese territory. Assam Police officials also carried out an ‘eviction drive’ on July 10. A grenade was hurled at the Assam government team which went to visit the area.