2 Mizo youths injured in alleged Assam police firing

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Aizawl, March 10: Two Mizo youths were injured earlier on Saturday when Assam police opened fired at Mizo Zirlai Pawl (Mizo students’ association) volunteers who were trying to reconstruct a rest house at a disputed area along Mizoram-Assam border near Bairabi town in Kolasib district.
The injured from the police firing have been identified as two MZP leaders, P C Ramdinsanga and Lalchhandama. They sustained injuries in their legs and were admitted to a civil hospital at Bairabi. Journalists from the site reported that at least 45 persons have been injured from the Assam police’s lathi-charges since Thursday. Eight of them were admitted to civil hospital at the nearest Mizoram town Bairabi.
The confrontation between Mizo student activists and the Assam police began on Thursday when the MZP planned to reconstruct a resting shed (named Zofate Chawlhbuk or Mizo resting shed) on what is claimed to be the territory of Mizoram. The land where the resting shed is planned to be constructed is a paddy field that belongs to the late chief minister of Mizoram Ch Chhunga. Lalrothangi, the late wife of the first chief minister of Mizoram Ch Chhunga donated a paddy field to the MZP and the student body built a rest shed for farmers working nearby.
The construction work was completed on February 27 last with the help of villagers from Bairabi. However, it was demolished allegedly by the Assam Police and Forest department officials on the same night.
“Around 1200 hours today, the MZP volunteers made one more attempt to start the reconstruction. As they unloaded the construction materials from their truck, the Assam police started firing at them,” a journalist from Bairabi reported over phone.
Meanwhile, Mizoram police have stopped hundreds of volunteers from proceeding to Bairabi at Rengtekawn near Kolasib town in northern Mizoram.
“Until and unless we rebuild the rest shed, we will not go home,” L Ramdinliana Renthlei, president of the MZP said over phone “The British administration maintained the inner line reserve as no man’s land to ensure that the lesser tribes of the Mizos were secure from assimilation of the dominant plains people, the Assam Police and the Assam Forest department are encroaching the reserve lines everywhere and claimed that it belong to them,” Renthlei said. (Agencies)