Mizoram, Assam to hold talks on Mar 20


Aizawl, March 14: The chief seretaries of Mizoram and Assam would hold talks in Delhi on March 20 on the border dispute between the two neighbouring states in the wake of protests by students, which turned violent recently.
Mizoram Home Minister R Lalzirliana Lalzirliana informed the Assembly that the Mizoram government had suggested that the deputy commissioners of Hailakandi district in Assam and Kolasib district in Mizoram should hold talks on the border dispute before March 15, but did not receive any response.
“We again suggested talks between the chief secretaries of the two states and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh agreed to it by proposing talks between the chief secretaries of Assam and Mizoram on March 20,” he said.
Tension prevailed near the interstate border when the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), a student’ body, tried to construct a rest house on the National Highway-154 near the border on February 27.
Lalzirliana condemned the ‘excesses’ committed by the Assam police personnel on Mizo students and reporters on March 8 and March 10 at the Zophai area near the Mizoram-Assam border town of Bairabi in Kolasib.
The situation along the border had turned violent after police resorted to lathi-charge to control some protesting students, where among others, a journalist was also injured.
The minister alleged that the Assam police personnel resorted to unprovoked firing at the students and reporters without giving warnings and also without using tear-gas to disperse the students.
He claimed that the district magistrates of Aizawl and Kolasib districts had issued prohibitory order under Section 144 of the CrPC to prevent the MZP from going to the Zophai area to construct a guest house called ‘Zofate Chawlhbuk’ without consulting him.
“The action of the district magistrates amounted to disrespect as the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting, chaired by the state chief minister, had already agreed that the guest house would be erected at that place,” he said.
He also thanked the MZP leaders for agreeing to wait till March 20 for talks and withdrawing the proposed construction of the guest house today to ease the tension.
The minister’s statement came after opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) member Lalruatkima made special mention, during the Zero Hour, of the ‘excesses’ of the Assam police personnel against unarmed students and scribes. (PTI)