Assam-Mizoram Border Blockade Back Within A Week Of Resolution

Hundreds of trucks carrying essential supplies to Mizoram are once again stranded on National Highway 306, the life-line of the state

Last week Mizoram had promised to pull back its armed police from border area at Lailapur in Assam (File)

Guwahati:

A week after a supposed breakthrough in the Assam-Mizoram border deadlock, blockades have resurfaced over the past two days. Locals on Assam's side of the border have stopped vehicles from going into Mizoram, demanding that the state withdraw its forces still posted in their territory.

Hundreds of trucks carrying essential supplies to Mizoram are once again stranded on National Highway 306, the life-line of the state. Last week Mizoram had promised that it will pull back its armed police from the border area at Lailapur in Assam but Assam officials say Mizoram is yet to honour its promise.

On Thursday, the Union Home Secretary held a video conference with the chief secretaries of both Assam and Mizoram to defuse the situation, official sources said.

Meanwhile, a senior police officer in Assam GP Singh said that a recent bomb blast in a school in Lailapur along the Assam-Mizoram border may have been an attempt to terrorise the locals. Assam Police will request to hand over the probe of the incident to a central agency.

"An explosion had taken place in a school. I discussed with the Superintendent of Police of Kolashib districts. We have seen the additional police post set up by Mizoram. There is a feeling that a bomb explosion might be an attempt to terrorise the locals. I have asked the Superintendent of Police of Cachar to file a case under section of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the court," he said.

"In the investigation, it has emerged that those triggering the explosion might be from Mizoram. We have discussed with police headquarters as it involves a case under unlawful activities, we will request to transfer the case to a central agency," Mr Singh told reporters.

The deadlock at the Assam-Mizoram border has been on since October 9 and took an ugly turn with around 20 shops and houses burnt and several people injured in attacks and counter-attacks by the people living along the border on October 17.

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Vairengte in Kolasib district of Mizoram, through which the NH 306 goes, has seen a massive deployment of security forces till Lialapur in Assam.

Three southern Assam districts - Cachar, Karimganj, Hailakandi - share a hilly border with two Mizoram districts Mamit and Kolasib.

Last week, the deadlock had ended after Union Home Ministry's Joint Secretary (North East), Satyendra Kumar Garg, the Home Secretaries of Assam and Mizoram along with top officials of the two states held a series of meetings.

Over 300 trucks bound for Mizoram began moving as the state agreed to "push back" its forces a bit from the border areas.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah also spoke to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga several times last week to defuse the crisis.