Aizawl/Silchar, Nov 8 (IANS) In view of the 12-day long Assam-Mizoram inter-state border dispute and the blockade of the National Highway (NH) 306, the Mizoram government is contemplating to bring the essentials through Bangladesh and Myanmar besides Tripura and Manipur, officials said on Sunday.
Mizoram Chief Secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo said that Chief Minister Zoramthanga also contemplated getting supplies from neighbouring countries since the 12 days of blockade has caused a big distress to the population.
“Government of Mizoram explored alternative routes for transport of essential supplies from other neighbouring states (Manipur and Tripura) and some headway had been made,” he told the media in Aizawl on Sunday afternoon.
Chuaungo said that to resolve the inter-state border stalemate, Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla on Sunday held a meeting with him and his Assam counterpart Jishnu Barua.
He said that Mizoram was committed to the agreement arrived in the meeting and hoped that Assam Government too would be committed towards getting the highways reopened.
“Border Security Force (BSF) troopers which have been sent to Mizoram by the Central Government would be deployed at the border areas of Assam. The Assam government had agreed to take steps to open all blockades of the highways connecting Mizoram and Assam,” the Chief Secretary said.
Meanwhile, the Mizoram police on Sunday did not allow a Congress delegation led by opposition leader Debabrata Saikia to visit the trouble torn bordering areas. The Congress leaders which also include all India Mahila Congress President and party spokesperson Sushmita Dev said that they were attacked by some unidentified miscreants of Mizoram.
Saikia told the media that that were keen to visit the Assam government school in Cachar district of southern Assam which was largely damaged after the miscreants triggered a blast on the intervening night of Friday-Saturday.
The border tension was intensified after the bomb blast at the Upper Painom Lower Primary school causing massive damage to the school.
Southern Assam’s Deputy Inspector General of Police Dilip Kumar Dey told IANS over phone that the matter was communicated to Mizoram police as the miscreants belong to the neighbouring state.
The All Cachar Karimganj Hailakandi Students Association observed a 12-hour shutdown on Saturday in southern Assam’s Barak Valley comprising three districts — Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi — to protest against the abduction of 48-year-old Intyaz Ali from Lailapur border area of Cachar district along the Assam-Mizoram border and his subsequent death in the Mizoram government’s custody on November 2.
While Assam police officials stated that he died at the hands of miscreants on the other side of the border, Mizoram Home Secretary Lalbiaksangi said that Ali was apprehended with drugs and he was found dead at a hospital on Monday after he was referred to the health centre for a medical check up.
The blockade on the NH-306, the lifeline of Mizoram, continued for the 12th day on Sunday while Mizoram has refused to withdraw its forces until the situation gets back to normal.Due to the blockade along NH 306 at Lailapur, over 250 Mizoram bound goods laden vehicles are stuck as the local agitators and vehicle drivers refuse to budge unless Mizoram withdraws its security personnel from Assam and provides security for the movement of vehicles in Mizoram.
Lingering since October 9, the tensed situation along the 164.6-km Assam-Mizoram border took an ugly turn when around 20 shops and houses were burnt and over 50 people sustained injuries in attacks and counter-attacks by people on either side on October 17.
The situation was normalised after a series of meetings and the central government’s intervention.Union Home Ministry’s Joint Secretary (North East), Satyendra Kumar Garg also held meetings in Silchar and Aizawl.However, the inter-state border trouble resurfaced after a fortnight on October 28 along Assam’s Cachar and Karimganj, which abut Mizoram’s Mamit and Kolasib.
Assam Environment and Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya, who hails from southern Assam, visited the trouble-torn areas several times while Home Minister Amit Shah also spoke to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga to normalise the situation.