Assam withdraws FIR against Mizoram MP for ‘conspiracy’ behind border clash
Assam has decided to withdraw the police case against K Vanlalvena, Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) from Mizoram, signalling further easing of tension following Union home minister Amit Shah’s intervention to get the two states to find an amicable resolution to their border dispute which led to clashes resulting in the loss of six lives on July 26.
The chief ministers of both states agreed on Sunday to defuse tension along the border and settle the border dispute through talks. Mizoram has also decided not to investigate Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in a case related to the clashes.
“I have noted statements... CM Zoramthanga wherein he has expressed his desire to settle the border dispute amicably. Assam always wants to keep the spirit of North East alive. We are also committed to ensure peace along our borders,” Sarma tweeted in the early hours on Monday.
“To take this goodwill gesture ahead, I have directed Assam Police to withdraw FIR against K Vanlalvena, Hon’ble MP, Rajya Sabha, from Mizoram. However, cases against other accused officers will be pursued,” he added.
The case against Vanlalvena was filed after he said in a TV interview that if Assam policemen enter Mizoram again “all will be killed”. A police team visited his residence in Delhi and directed him to appear at the Dholai police station in Cachar district of Assam to record his statement.
Mizoram police, too, filed an FIR against Assam CM Sarma and six Assam officials in Kolasib district under various charges including those related to attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy.
On Sunday, Kolasib superintendent of police Vanlalfaka Ralte said the police will not proceed with the case against Sarma. “The case is not withdrawn, but we are not going to investigate the matter against Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma in order to have a peaceful atmosphere,” Ralte said.
The Assam Police have also issued summons to six officials of the Mizoram government, including the deputy commissioner and superintendent of police of Kolasib district for charges that include murder, criminal trespass etc.
The political standoff between Assam and Mizoram over the violent showdown at their disputed border appeared to abate on Sunday after Union home minister Amit Shah spoke to Sarma and Zoramthanga telephonically to defuse the border tension between the two North-eastern neighbours.
Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga urged the people of his state to “avoid posting sensitive messages” on social media, as his Assam counterpart, Himanta Biswa Sarma, spoke of keeping “the spirit of the North-east alive” and having another round of discussions with his Mizoram counterpart.
“Border disputes can only be resolved through discussion,” he said, a day after seeking a probe into the clashes by a “neutral agency”.
The situation on the ground, however, remained tense, with Mizoram alleging that Assam was imposing a blockade in the Barak Valley region, and blocking medical supplies.
Assam’s Barak Valley districts of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi share a 164.6 km-long border with Mizoram’s Aizawl, Kolasib and Mamit districts. Mizoram was a part of Assam till 1972 when it became a Union Territory. It became a state in 1987. The territorial dispute has festered since then and fuelled sporadic clashes including in August 2020 and February 2021.