Why Not Neutral Agency?: Assam CM on Mizoram FIR Amid Border Violence
The Assam-Mizoram border is disputed at several points and several rounds of dialogue since 1994 have failed.
An FIR has been registered against Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and six top state officials by the Mizoram police on 26 July, on charges of attempt to murder and assault. Around 200 unidentified police personnel too, have been booked in the case.
Expressing his willingness to join the probe, Sarma asked why the case is not being handed over to a neutral agency.
"Will be very happy to join in any investigation. But why is the case not being handed over to a neutral agency, especially when the place of occurrence is well within the constitutional territory of Assam?" Sarma tweeted on Saturday, saying he has already informed this to the Mizoram CM.
The case was filed at Vairengte police station in Kolasib district of Mizoram by the local inspector, H Lalchawimawia. The Kolasib district that borders Assam’s Cachar district, witnessed violent clashes on Monday.
The boundary between the two states is disputed at several points and several rounds of dialogue since 1994 have failed to resolve the disagreement between Assam and Mizoram.
The senior officers who have been named in the FIR are Inspector General (IG) of Assam Police Anurag Aggarwal, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Cachar Devojyoti Mukherjee, Cachar Superintendent of Police Chandrakant Nimbalkar, officer in-charge of Dholai Police Station, Sahab Uddin, Divisional Forest Officer of Cachar Sunnydeo Choudhary and Divisional Commissioner of Cachar Keerthi Jalli.
Meanwhile, the Assam Police has issued summons to Mizoram's Rajya Sabha member and six state officials, including a Deputy Commissioner and a Superintendent of Police, for their alleged role in Monday's border violence, which left six people dead and over 100 people from both states injured, officials said on Friday.
What Does The FIR Entail?
The FIR stated that the Assam Police along with senior officers “forcefully tried to occupy” a Mizoram police camp “stating that it is an encroachment on the forest land”. The Assam Police had retorted saying they were there to construct a post and that the action was taken on the “instructions of the CM of Assam”. The FIR also accused Assam Police officers of initiating lathi charge and using tear gas and smoke shells on the residents of Vairengte who had gathered in the area, the FIR read, reported The Print.
Agreeing to Deployment of Neutral Central Force Along Border
The two states share a 164.6-km-long border, which has long been a cause of dispute. Three districts in the south of Assam – Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj – share the border with Mizoram’s Kolasib, Mamit and Aizawl districts.
On Thursday, Assam had issued a travel advisory asking people from the state not to go to Mizoram due to the border tensions and stating that the police would inspect vehicles coming from Mizoram. Mizoram had strongly condemned the order.
“Public notice to all. Northeast India will always be one,” Chief Minister Zoramthanga tweeted. “I still hope for an amicable solution to the Assam-Mizoram border tension from the central government,” he added.
During a meeting on Wednesday called by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), it was decided a neutral central force will be deployed along the disturbed Assam-Mizoram border, PTI reported.
(With inputs from India Today, The Print, PTI)
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