10 hurt, 20 houses burnt in fresh trouble along Assam-Mizoram border

In fresh trouble along the Assam-Mizoram borders, at least 10 people were injured and around 20 houses were burnt down by ‘unknown miscreants’, forcing the authorities to deploy huge contingent of security forces in the area, officials said on Wednesday.

The violent incidents took place in Kachurthal in Assam’s Hailakandi district adjoining Bairabi in Mizoram’s Kolasib district on Tuesday.

The Deputy Commissioner of Hailakandi district, Megh Nidhi Dahal, said that to control the situation and to prevent fresh incedents, prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPc have been promulgated on Wednesday along the bordering areas, in addition to the deployment of a large contingent of security forces in the area.

“We are investigating all aspects of the incident. We are providing relief and other assistance to the affected families. Senior district and police officials are camping in the area since Tuesday,” Dahal told IANS over phone from Hailakandi.

Police officers said that of the 10 people hurt in the incident, the injuries of four persons are serious and they have been shifted to the Silchar Medical College and Hospital.

“The PWD department of the Assam government has undertaken repair work of a road in Kachurthal village along the Assam-Mizoram inter-state border, to which some people from Mizoram objected and attacked the civilians on our side. On Tuesday night, some miscreants burnt down at least 20 houses but fortunately the people inside managed to escape,” a police officer said, on condition of anonymity.

The Superintendent of Police of Hailakandi district, Pabindra Kumar Nath, is camping in the area.

A Mizoram police officer in Aizawl, however, said that two employees of Mizoram power and electricity department and a member of Bairabi village council were thrashed by the local people from Assam territory after they had gone for a survey in the bordering area.

Some local organisations blocked roads on Wednesday to protest against the incident and many Mizoram-bound goods laden vehicles were stranded due to the blockade.

Since October last year, several inter-state border skirmishes have taken place along the Assam-Mizoram borders and over 50 people were injured and more than 25 houses and shops had been set on fire on the Assam side.

Following the intervention of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, top Home Ministry officials and Chief Ministers of the two states, Central para-military troopers were deployed along the Assam-Mizoram inter-state borders to prevent fresh troubles after a series of clashes and blockades on the National Highway 306.

The National Highway (NH) 306, the lifeline of Mizoram, connects the mountainous northeastern state with the rest of the country via southern Assam.

Three districts of Mizoram – Aizawl, Kolasib and Mamit – share a 164.6 km inter-state border with southern Assam’s Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts.

The tension along the two northeastern states had intensified after a bomb blast at an Assam government school in October last year and the alleged abduction of 48-year-old Intyaz Ali from Lailapur and his subsequent death in the Mizoram government’s custody on November 2, prompting the local residents to agitate.