Tripura asks Mizoram to back off from border village, claims jurisdiction
A day after the Mizoram government imposed prohibitory orders at Phuldungsei, a disputed village at Tripura-Mizoram inter-state border, due to a row over construction of a temple, the Tripura government on Saturday requested the Mizoram government to withdraw the orders and claimed that the disputed areas falls under the North district of Tripura.
In a letter written to Mizoram government’s deputy secretary David H Lalthangliana on Saturday, Tripura government’s additional secretary AK Bhattacharya said the prohibitory order is “highly objectionable” as Betlingchhip, also known as Thaidawr Ylang, is currently under the Tripura government’s control. Accordingly, he requested the Mamit district magistrate to withdraw the prohibitory order at the earliest.
“ …. District Magistrate, Mamit has erroneously mentioned Betlingchhip (as also referred to as Thaidawr Ylang by few Mizos) which is currently under complete administrative control and possession of the State of Tripura under North Tripura District,” the letter said.
To further bolster its claim, the letter cites construction of a watch tower done previously by Tripura government at Betlingchhip.
“Tourism Department, Government of Tripura constructed a watch tower at the peak of Betlingchhip long back. It can be safely said that District Magistrate, Mamit in his prohibitory order has erroneously included Phuldungsei para/village (in Jampui) under Sabual VC of Jampui Hills RD Block in Kanchanpur Sub-Division of North Tripura District,” the letter reads.
In the prohibitory order, Mizoram’s Mamit district magistrate Lalrozama stated that a Tripura-based organisation SONGRONGMA planned to construct a Shiv temple at Thaidawr Ylang falling in Mamit district without seeking permission from the Mizoram government.
Stating that this would go against the interest of the local community that could disturb peace and tranquillity in the region, he imposed restrictions on assembly of five or more persons in the village and surrounding areas of Phuldungsei Zampi and Zomuantlang of Mizoram’s Mamit district since October 16 till further orders.
Phuldungsei village, located at Kanchanpur sub division of North district of Tripura, has over 600 residents. Despite the eastern side of Phuldungsei village falling in Mizoram, the village has traditionally been considered a part of Tripura.
In August, Kanchanpur sub divisional magistrate Chandni Chandran informed her higher officials that 130 residents of the village, who have Tripura’s ration cards, were found in Mizoram’s voters’ list.
Earlier on October 10, Mizoram home secretary Lalbiaksangi sought Tripura home secretary BK Sahu’s intervention to stop construction of the temple and all kinds of activities within the disputed interstate border.