Action against ‘Mizo aggression’ needed, Assam Congress says on border row


Decades-old boundary dispute between the two northeastern States flared up again on January 9

The Congress in Assam has asked the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to live up to its 2016 promise of protecting jaati (race), maati (land) and bheti (foundation) by taking action against “Mizo aggression”.

Assam’s land, the party said on Friday, was getting squeezed due to alleged encroachment by Mizoram.

Referring to frequent violent incidents on the inter-State border with Mizoram, Congress MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha said it was time the State government took some strong actions to save the State’s land.

“We are losing land to Mizoram despite this government’s promise to protect our jaati, maati and bheti. Accompanied by policemen and miscreants, students from Mizoram often raid the border villages in (southern Assam’s) Barak valley and encroach upon our land. The State government must stop this and take some firm actions,” the MLA from Barak Valley told the 126-member House.

Sujam Uddin Laskar, another MLA from the valley said the “Mizo aggressors” take advantage of Assam’s laxity and carry out construction after encroaching upon land in Assam.

“Act before it is too late,” he said.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister and government spokesperson Chandra Mohan Patowary said the State government was alive to the situation.

“We don’t want any confrontation but cooperation. We believe in peaceful co-existence. We had several rounds of discussions with the Mizoram government. We will sit again so the issue can be resolved amicably,” he said in his reply.

The last of the incidents on a disputed stretch of the Assam-Mizoram border took place on February 9 when miscreants, allegedly from Mizoram, torched more than 20 houses and injured at least 10 people in the Kachurthal area of Hailakandi.

Earlier, two schools inside Assam were allegedly bombed by miscreants from the neighbouring State. Mizoram’s Aizawl, Kolasib and Mamit districts share a 164.6-km border with Assam’s Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts.

Assam is also embroiled in border disputes with Nagaland, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.

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