Grenade attack on Assam school near Mizoram border stokes row
On the eve of the 75th Independence Day, tension along Assam-Mizoram border escalated once again on Saturday after a primary school in Hailakandi district of Assam was bombed by unknown miscreants, a senior police officer said.
Parts of the lower primary Sahebmara LP School were damaged in the incident that took place around 11.30 pm on Friday at Kachurthal area, Hailakandi superintendent of police (SP) Gaurav Upadhyay said, adding that no person was injured.
“The bombing was done by miscreants from Mizoram side between 11 and 11.30 pm. The area comes under Ghutghuti police outpost, and we have raised the security immediately after the incident. We are trying to ensure that this incident does not create fear among the residents in the locality. We are also investigating the matter and once it is completed, we’ll be able to give a clearer picture,” he said.
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said he will write to his Mizoram counterpart and request for a probe into the blast.
As the incident occurred within “our territory, the Assam police will conduct an inquiry into it,” Sarma added.
He said that intelligence reports had suggested sporadic incidents may occur along the border and “I had mentioned about it in the assembly on Friday”.
This is the second such instance in the area after Muliwala Lower Primary School was bombed in February this year by unknown miscreants, police added.
Sahebmara LP School, located within 2 km of the Assam-Mizoram Border, demarcated by Survey of India map, was attacked by grenades while it was closed due to the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.
In February, unknown miscreants used grenades to damage Muliwala Lower Primary School, resulting in hundreds of families moving out of the area in fear. “There has been a series of attempts to terrorise locals by unknown miscreants from Mizoram side throughout the year. They mostly target the government buildings to create panic among the civilians,” said a local from Hailakandi.
Mizoram’s chief secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo said, “This allegation needs to be verified and thoroughly investigated. Those responsible for such cowardly act do not deserve any sympathy.”
Superintendent of police of kolasib district, Mizoram Vanlalfaka Ralte said, “The place of bomb blasts is not a disuted area. It is Assam area with clear boundary (Tlawng river), these days as Assam Police are on patrolling duty in the area no Mizo from Bairabi town have entered to the area of Bomb blast. This is the handiwork of some miscreant from Assam who try to defame Mizoram and disrupt the ongoing peace process between Assam and Mizoram.”
“Even Bairabi OC talk to the leaders of Sahebmara and they are saying that they do not suspect Mizos,” Ralte added.
The border dispute between the two states resulted in an exchange of fire between the policemen from both sides on July 26, causing the death of six Assam policemen and one resident. More than 60 people from Assam, including superintendent of police of Cachar district, sustained severe injuries. Few persons from Mizoram side were also injured.
Following the clashes, a 10-day-long economic blockade in Assam prevented transport of goods to Mizoram, resulting in a price rise of essential goods in the state. Under the instruction of the Union government, both Assam and Mizoram have agreed to resolve the border dispute peacefully.
It will take time for complete peace to return to Assam’s border with Mizoram, Sarma added.