Assam rebuts Mizoram minister’s construction charge along inter-state border
SILCHAR: Assam forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya on Thursday rushed to rebut Mizoram’s accusation that his government was not adhering to the Union home ministry’s November 5 advisory that required both states to maintain status quo on construction works along their 164.6km inter-state border.
“Our districts are maintaining the status quo and no construction is going on in the border areas. We are trying to save our trees which a few groups from Mizoram are trying to destroy,” Parimal Suklabaidya said, his rebuttal to Mizoram home minister Lalchamliana, who uses only one name.
At a meeting of Mizoram’s state boundary committee on Wednesday, Lalchamliana instructed deputy commissioners of Kolasib and Mamit districts to resume construction activities on the ground that Assam hasn’t halted the civil works on its side. The instruction to rescind Aizwal’s order came hours after a locally influential body - the JAC on Inner Line Reserve Forest Demand - served an ultimatum to the Mizoram government to withdraw the November 11 move to stop construction in the border districts.
Suklabaidya’s well-publicised instructions to the deputy commissioners of the border districts followed on Wednesday.
Officials in Assam’s Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi districts denied the Mizo claim.
Hailakandi deputy commissioner Rohan Kumar Jha said, “We have instructions from the government and there is absolutely zero construction going on. Officials of Mizoram should enquire properly before making statements which can mislead common people.”
Cachar superintendent of police Ramandip Kaur said, “There are some old works going on but we didn’t allow undertaking any fresh construction following the status quo. The allegations of Mizoram are false. Rather there were attempts of illegal construction from Mizoram on our land which we stopped.”
The home ministry’s November 5 advisory that asked the two states to halt border works was issued against the backdrop of renewed signs of tension along the inter-state border, mostly around construction activities. A flare-up along the border on July 26 led to the death of six Assam police personnel.