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North East

Mizoram cop held by Assam Police over blast near disputed inter-state border released: Official

Aizawl, October 31: A Mizoram policeman, who was arrested by the Assam Police for allegedly being involved in a blast in a disputed area along the inter-state border, has been released on bail, an officer said on Sunday.
Laldintluanga Ralte, an Indian Reserve Battalion constable of the Mizoram Police, was apprehended by policemen of the neighbouring state when he was found near the site of the “low-intensity blast” which occurred at around 1:30 am on Friday.


“Ralte was sent to inspect the site of the blast that took place about 100 metres from an outpost near the border. Soon after he (Ralte) reached the spot, the Assam Police personnel, who were already present there, arrested him. They accused him of possessing explosive materials,” Bairabi Police Station officer in-charge Lalrinhlua told PTI.
The Mizoram Police claimed the blast took place near Bairabi town in Kolasib district, while the Assam Police said it occurred near the Baicherra outpost in Hailakandi.
Fresh tension brewed between Assam and Mizoram along the inter-state border after the blast and the arrest of the Mizoram policeman.
The incident occurred around three months after a clash between police forces of the two northeastern neighbours in a disputed border area left seven people, including six Assam policemen, dead.
“The constable did not carry any explosive item and was not involved in the bomb blast. He did not even carry any firearm when he had gone to inspect the area” Lalrinhlua said.
He also claimed the Assam Police did not intimate the Mizoram government of the arrest, a nicety which is followed by all states in such circumstances.


“Once we have learnt that Ralte was held by the policemen of the neighbouring state, a team of the Mizoram Police went to Assam’s Ramnathpur Police Station. Later, we came to know from locals that he was arrested and taken to the nearby police station. He was released on bail on Saturday evening and brought to Bairabi,” Lalrinhlua said.
On Friday morning, the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRBn) staffer of the Mizoram Police was found loitering in the area and he could not explain his presence there, Hailakandi Superintendent of Police Gaurav Upadhyay had told PTI on Saturday.
“We picked him up and during interrogation, we found his involvement in the blast. We arrested him yesterday and produced him in a court,” the SP had said.
Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) members blocked a road that connects Bairabi town and Hailakandi, and later lifted it after the release of Ralte.
The blast took place just two days after the Assam Police objected to the construction of a bridge in Kachurthal area on the Assam side that was abandoned after a confrontation erupted over it in August.
A clash between police forces of Assam and Mizoram in a disputed border area in Cachar district on July 26 left seven people – six Assam Police personnel and a civilian – dead and over 50 others injured.
Assam’s Barak Valley districts of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi share a 164.6 km long border with Mizoram’s three districts of Aizawl, Kolasib and Mamit.


The long-standing dispute has its origin in a notification of 1875 issued during the British era that differentiated Lushai Hills from the plains of Cachar, and another of 1933 that demarcates a boundary between Lushai Hills and Manipur.
Mizoram insists the inter-state boundary should be demarcated on the basis of the 1875 notification, a corollary to the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR) Act, 1873.
Mizoram leaders have, however, been arguing against the demarcation notified in 1933, claiming that the Mizo society was not consulted, while Assam wants that notification to be enforced.
In another incident, a resident of Mizoram was allegedly killed by miscreants from Assam near Kolalian village in Mamit district, a police officer said.
According to Mamit additional SP Zoramthanga, the incident occurred early on Friday when Lalfakawma (26), a resident of Chuhvel, went to the border area along with his three friends to buy cattle from a seller in Assam.
“A team of seven miscreants from the neighbouring state had attacked them and snatched Rs 1 lakh from their possession. An investigation has been initiated,” he added. (PTI)

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