'We'll die but protect our land': Assam to raise three commando battalions to man Mizoram border

Express News Service
GUWAHATI: The “economic blockade” against Mizoram, imposed by some Assam organisations in the aftermath of the July 26 violence on the interstate border, which left six policemen dead and over 50 others injured, is continuing.

No vehicle was travelling to Mizoram from Assam. Dozens of goods-laden trucks were stranded in Assam’s Cachar and Hailakandi districts.

Two roads, including National Highway 306, in Cachar and Hailakandi are the lifelines of Mizoram. The blockade has been enforced on both, disrupting transportation to the hilly state.

The railway communication has been also snapped as the miscreants removed the track at a stretch of around 50 metres in Hailakandi. This is the only railhead that leads to Mizoram.

The Mizoram government has sought the Centre’s intervention. It requested the Centre to instruct the Assam government to take necessary action for the immediate removal of the blockade and resumption of the movement of goods and passenger vehicles.

In a letter to Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, Lalbiaksangi, who is the secretary to the Government of Mizoram, wrote the blockade was adversely affecting the livelihood of people in Mizoram. It was mentioned that a similar blockade imposed by Assam last year had continued for 25 days.

“The National Highways and railway lines are owned and managed by the Government of India and no state agency/entity or the general public has any right to block them and restrict the movement of people and goods through the highways and railroads…

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“In this regard, it is requested that the Government of India may kindly intervene and instruct the Government of Assam to take necessary action for the immediate removal of the blockade so as to ensure resumption of the movement of goods and passengers along the National Highway and railway line,” the Mizoram government letter to Bhalla read.

Official sources in Assam said security had been tightened for people from Mizoram living in Assam.

Meanwhile, Assam ministers Ashok Singhal and Parimal Suklabaidya visited the Lailapur police patrol near the interstate border on Thursday to review the situation.

Singhal told reporters that the state government would take all measures to protect the lives and property of border residents. He also said that no encroachment of land would be allowed.

Mizoram MP to be ‘quizzed’

A team of the Assam Police left for Delhi on Thursday to “examine” Mizoram MP K Vanlalvena in connection with the incident.

“@assampolice team, including officers of CID, is leaving for Delhi to take lawful action relating to conspiracy behind the incident in light of media interview of Rajya Sabha MP Sri K Vanlalvena indicative of his active role in conspiracy,” Assam’s Special Director General of Police, GP Singh had tweeted on Wednesday.

Vanlalvena, who is from the ruling Mizo National Front in Mizoram, had allegedly told a media house, “…If they come again, we shall kill them all.”