Assam moves to ease fresh row with Mizoram

Assam moves to ease fresh row with Mizoram

Police return seized building material.

Authorities of Assam’s Hailakandi district returned some seized construction materials to their counterparts in Mizoram’s Kolasib district on Sunday to ease fresh tension brewing on the inter-State border since August 20 afternoon.

The police in Kolasib’s border town Bairabi had filed a case of theft against some unnamed Assam police personnel after the latter stopped work on a bridge Mizoram claimed was on its territory. The Assam police team also seized — stole, according to the Mizoram police — TMT bars being used for the bridge.

Kolasib Deputy Commissioner H. Lalthlangliana said his Hailakandi counterpart Rohan Kumar Jha had 5 quintals of iron rods returned around 6 p.m. on Sunday, more than 24 hours after he was intimated about the theft case. “The case filed at the Bairabi station against the Assam police personnel will be withdrawn,” he told The Hindu.

Kolasib Superintendent of Police Vanlalfaka Ralte said the Mizoram police team withdrew from the disputed site after the return of the construction materials.

His Hailakandi counterpart Gaurav Upadhyay, however, said an Assam police patrol party had detected the unauthorised construction on the Assam side of the border by Mizoram workers on Friday and seized the material.

Mizoram claimed the bridge was being made in Kolasib’s Zophai area to connect the road with a farm belonging to the State’s first Chief Minister C. Chhunga. Assam claimed the spot is in Hailakandi district’s Kachurtal.

The spot is a few kilometres west of a stretch on National Highway 306 between Lailapur in Assam and Vairengte in Mizoram where six Assam police personnel were killed in firing on July 26. Mizoram’s Kolasib district borders Cachar (Lailapur) and Hailakandi districts of Assam.

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