Fresh tension along Assam-Mizoram border after 2 huts burnt by miscreants

Last year too, several houses were burnt along the Assam-Mizoram border, forcing around 50 families to move from Gutgutia-Gallacher; their abandoned houses were burnt on Friday night.
The burning of houses in Assam’s areas bordering Mizoram in Hailakandi is linked to the border dispute between the two states. (HT Photo)
The burning of houses in Assam’s areas bordering Mizoram in Hailakandi is linked to the border dispute between the two states. (HT Photo)
Updated on Jun 07, 2021 09:10 AM IST
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ByBiswa Kalyan Purkayastha

Tension has returned to Assam’s borders with Mizoram in Hailakandi district with two houses in Gutgutia-Gallacher area burnt down by unknown miscreants on Friday night in a reminder of last year’s arson, triggered by border dispute between the two states that forced around 50 families to relocate.

“Some temporary houses have been constructed 300 meters inside Assam’s territory by a group from Mizoram. These are forest areas, and we don’t have roads and proper ways of transport to reach the border area. But on Mizoram’s side, they have constructed roads to reach the border areas. There are some abandoned houses in Assam along the border and two of them were burnt by miscreants on Friday night,” police superintendent (SP) Ramandeep Kaur said.

She added that while two cases have been registered and efforts were on to find the culprits, the border dispute issue needs to be solved by officials at a “higher level”.

Last year too, several houses were burnt along the border, forcing around 50 families to move from Gutgutia-Gallacher; their abandoned houses were burnt on Friday night. Similarly, several houses were burnt, two government schools bombed and one person was killed in Cachar district’s Dholai constituency last year. Three districts of Assam’s Barak Valley, Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi, share a 164.6 kms border with Mizoram’s Aizawl, Kolasib and Mamit districts. Despite several rounds of talks, the Assam-Mizoram border dispute is yet to be resolved.

The border area in Hailakandi falls under Katlicherra assembly constituency represented by Suzam Uddin Laskar, who visited the site and appealed to chief minister Himanta Biswa Sharma to resolve the matter immediately.

Hailakandi deputy commissioner Rohan Kumar Jha and Ramandeep Kaur visited the area on Saturday and Sunday and assured the locals that their lives and properties will be protected.

“We have also tried to talk to the officials in Mizoram administration. There was fear among the people in the past... We have deployed our team in border areas and there will be a strict vigil from now on,” DIG (deputy inspector general) Southern Assam Range, Debojyoti Mukherjee said.

Last year the issue had escalated to result in a standoff with a group in Dholai blocking the national highway connecting the two states for 11 days, which was partially resolved after Centre’s intervention.

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Sunday, July 03, 2022