Assam today defended issuing an advisory to its people against travelling to Mizoram saying civilians in its neighbouring state carry advanced guns that could prove to be dangerous given the fractious relations between them right now. A long-running boundary dispute between the two flared up last week after six Assam police personnel were killed and dozens of others were wounded in gunfire exchanged between the two sides.
On Thursday, the Himanta Biswa Sarma government of Assam advised its people not to travel to Mizoram. The move evoked much criticism from various sides
"Civilians in Mizoram roam around carrying AK-47s and sniper guns," Mr Sarma said today defending his government's move to issue such an advisory.
The advisory had said earlier that even after the firing incident, "certain Mizo civil society, students, and youth organisations are constantly issuing provocative statements against the state of Assam and its people. It has been reliably learnt from video footage available with Assam Police, that many civilians are heavily armed with automatic weapons etc".
Reacting to Assam's move, the Congress had said it was an "embarrassing day" for the country as one state had to issue an advisory to its people against travelling to another state.
Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga reacted to Assam's advisory by saying that "north-east India will always be one". He emphasised there won't be any restrictions on non-residents of Mizoram on traveling through the state's Kolasib district which borders Assam's Cachar.
The Zoramthanga government has, meanwhile, claimed it had proof of the Assam police setting off the violence. It questioned how such an incident could occur only two days after a successful meeting on the border issue was held with Union Home Minister Amit Shah.