Silchar: Despite the Assam Government officials' declaration on Wednesday (October 21) that Mizoram would withdraw its forces deployed on the Assam side, sources have informed Inside Northeast that they are yet to budge an inch. Almost 24 hours after the troopers were supposed to move back, they are still prowling near the border.
As a result, locals living near the border are still on edge in the aftermath of clashes that erupted after a COVID-19 testing centre was set up by Mizoram - within territory claimed by Assam - to sample Mizoram-bound truckers and other people.
It is pertinent to mention here that yesterday, Union Home Ministry Joint Secretary Satyendra Kumar Garg, in-charge of North East affairs, had rushed to Silchar in Southern Assam for an urgent meeting with Assam and Mizoram officials. Several top officials, as well as the Deputy Commissioner of the district, Keerthi Jalli, were also present at the meeting.
Earlier in the day, home secretary-level talks between the two states took place in the border area in Lialiapur but remained inconclusive until centre stepped in.
After the meeting, Assam Home Commissioner GD Tripathi said that they had had "a very fruitful discussion" with the Mizoram officials. Tripathi told media that the Mizoram officials had been asked to withdraw the forces in the Assam side which they had deployed and the government of Mizoram has consented.
Tripathi announced that "the problem that we have faced with the deployment of forces has been resolved."
Upon being asked about the long-standing dispute over the border, he said, "We had been engaging with the Government of Mizoram as well as Government of India and there have been negotiations." However, yesterday's meeting was focussed on "normalizing the situation restoration of peace, restoration of traffic, and harmony between the people of the two states."
On Thursday (October 22), goods laden trucks were sent to Mizoram but the security forces of Mizoram have not moved an inch from their alleged encroachment.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister of Mizoram Zoramthanga has tweeted that press release issued by Assam is full of misinformation and this thing was least needed at this hour opening up a fresh 'debate' or a graver 'dispute.'
The Beginnings of the Conflict:
Recently, the Mizoram allegedly entered 2 and a half kilometres inside Assam's Kullicherra, on the eastern part of Lailapur of Cachar district.
This didn't go down well with the villagers of Assam as well as Assam police who uprooted such a barricade set up by them and pushed them back.
On Saturday, Tripathi reached Silchar and talked to the SP Kolasib on the middle of the "occupied road."
On Tuesday, a meeting was convened at the Silchar DC's conference hall along with three SPs and DCs of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi and a resolution was taken by the government of Assam wherein they resolved to hammer out a solution but on the condition that Mizoram would withdraw its troops.
On Wednesday, as scheduled, Home Secretary of Mizoram Pi Lalbiaksangi and IGP Law and Order reached from their side. The Assam team was composed of ADGP Mukesh Agarwal and Gyanendra Tripathi. The meeting commenced at 11 and continued for 4 hours.
At 3 pm, Assam and Mizoram officials left for Silchar for tripartite talks at Silchar's circuit house as Union Joint Secretary (Home) and Incharge of Northeast, Satyendra Garg, reached Silchar.
After another three hours of the marathon meeting, it was decided that the Mizoram government would push back the security forces from Assam's land and peace would be restored. Vehicles too would move without any hassles.
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