Often the sudden flare up on Assam-Mizoram border, turning into stormy violence, has become a cause of worry for the border residents of Cachar, Hailakandi, Karimganj and the district administrative with security set ups. During the week long aggressive acts of Mizo miscreants in mid October backed by armed IR Bn on the frontiers to grab Assam land, creating tension and fear-psychosis has put the security agencies in consternation, sending its ripples and ruptures to Dispur. Commissioner and Secretary, Border Protection, G D Tripathi, and Director General of Police (Border) Mukesh Agarwal had to rush to the conflict zone of Lyllapur- Khulicherra of Cachar which bore the brunt of orgy of violence, let loose on the border villages under Dholai constituency by Mizos and their armed police on the night of October 17-18.
According to eye-witness reports, scores of houses and shops of the helpless poor people at Khulicherra and Tikli were burnt down to ashes. Their vegetations were razed to the ground, the source of livelihood of the dwellers in the isolated hilly terrain. The aggressive acts caught the Assam police unaware. The local residents resisted that resulted in injuries to many, causing hospitalisation of some in Silchar Medical College and Hospital.
What is the cause behind such intermittent aggression as seen for the last 40 years on the frontiers of three districts?
If it is a dispute over land boundary, both the states can sit and settle it amicably. This is the opinion of saner sections of people on both sides.
During the last few days, aggressive Mizo miscreants backed by the armed police of the state have been acting like marauders to forcibly occupy land of Assam in the border areas of Karimganj, Hailakandi and Cachar districts. Parimal Suklabaidya, Minister of Forest etc, who was on the spot visit of Chiragi-Shingla reserve forest area to see the Mizo aggression, made a statement that made a serious issue ‘a matter of annual festival’, evoking derisive reactions in the local media. That was after the Mizos penetrated deep inside Chiragi-Shingla reserve forest and Rongpur in Karimganj district where they had raised illegal structures.
How fortified they had made their positions could well be understood from the fact that a fact-finding delegation of BJP leaders consisting of Karimganj district President Subrata Bhattacharjee, Ratabari MLA, Bijoy Malakar, and Ashis Nath, ZP President were detained on the way by IR Bn of Mizoram and forced to return. Another area of conflict due to Mizo aggression is Gutguti on the frontier with Mizoram in Hailakandi district. Mizos raised illegal structures well inside Assam land and even set up a police check post, besides threatening the local residents to keep themselves at bay. Much later, security forces from district headquarters reached the spot to dismantle the illegal structures and also a police outpost which were again set up later. On receiving the information, Deputy Commissioner of Karimganj, MP Ambamuthun, and Superintendent of Police, Mayank Kumar reached the trouble zone but could not move ahead as their convoy was detained on the way by IR Bn of Mizoram.
But, the worst shape of Mizo aggression was seen all through on 17 October and the following morning when Khulicherra-Lyalapur 5 km area in Cachar district on the border with Mizoram, 55 km from here, was virtually turned into a battle ground, a sort of bloody confrontation between the aggressors and the local residents. Backed by their police and Mizo Zirlawi Pawl, an influential student organisation, the encroachers in order to cow down the protesters used physical force and even petrol bombs to set ablaze a number of shops and houses. The local residents did retaliate which resulted in injury to many of them, some critical, necessitating their treatment at Silchar Medical College and Hospital.
Jyoti Lal Chowdhury
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