Assam is illegally occupying more than 509 square miles of Mizo territory, Mizo National Front (MNF) Member of Parliament K. Vanlalvena said in an interview with The Hindu.
He blamed the newly elected Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s “expansionist” tendencies for the recent flare-up between Mizoram and Assam.
Also read: Assam to move Supreme Court seeking resolution of border dispute with Mizoram, says CM Himanta Biswa Sarma
Why is Assam-Mizo conflict happening?
On July 26, an exchange of fire between the States’ police forces left six Assam police officers and a civilian dead and 60 others injured. Assam claimed the firing was one-sided and unprovoked, while Mizoram said they had retaliated against the aggression by the Assam police.
The Assam police booked Mr. Vanlalvena for his public comments on the clashes, where he said that the Mizoram police should have “killed them all”. The case has now been withdrawn as the two sides try to work out a peace deal.
Infiltrators in Assam population
The BJP backs the MNF government in Mizoram.
When asked if the BJP was responsible for this recent flare-up, Mr. Vanlalvena said, “I cannot pin the blame on anyone party. I think we have reached this situation primarily because of the uncontrolled influx of the Bangladeshis. The population of ‘infiltrators’ is now 60% in Assam”.
Assam police coercively entered Mizo territory
Mr. Vanlavena said that the two states share a 164.6-km volatile border with each government, accusing the other of not maintaining the status quo and encouraging its people to encroach. Though the border conflict was decades old, the July 26 clashes, it had been in the making for the last several months.
He said that the Assam police made several “incursions” into the Mizo Territory, destroying plantations and demolishing the huts. In total, he said, 509 sq. miles of Mizo area that largely contained forests and about seven villages, had been captured by Assam.
Newly elected CM’s policy is a problem
MNF member Vanlavena said that the expansion policy of the newly elected Assam CM is not acceptable.
He further stated that during the recent campaign for Assembly elections, he promised to provide land to rehabilitate Bangladeshi immigrants. And since he cannot accommodate them in his state.
Vanlavena pronounced Central Armed Police Forces as “dubious”
“On the 26th of the last month about 200 Assam policemen came to the Mizoram territory passing through two Central Armed Police Force posts. On the Assamese side, there is BSF, and on the Mizoram side, there is a CRPF camp. They are deployed for peacekeeping. If they did their duty, there would be no clash between Assam and Mizoram,” he added.
According to him, the role played by the Central Armed Police Forces is suspicious.