Four days after the blockade, movement of vehicles resumed between Mizoram and Assam on Thursday despite Mizoram’s apex student body intensifying blockade on the National Highway-306, which links Mizoram with Assam.
The MZP staged blockade in the wake of border tension between the two neighboring states.
MZP president B. Vanlaltana told reporters that the blockade has been staged since Wednesday evening at Vairengte near the Assam border in protest against blockade launched by residents of Lailapur in Assam’s Cachar district since October 16 and to mount pressure on the Centres and both the governments of Mizoram and Assam to resolve the long standing inter-state border dispute.
He said that the emergency meeting of the students’ organisation on Thursday decided to intensify the blockade.
According to the leader, at least 11 MZP leaders, including the organisation vice president Peter Chhangte were arrested by police on Thursday morning around 3 am for staging blockade.
However, Kolasib district Superintendent of Police (SP) Vanlalfaka Ralte said that the MZP leaders were only summoned to the police station for talks and they were not arrested.
He also said that some trucks carrying essential commodities have also entered the state under police escort on Thursday morning.
According to Mizoram Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police (Northern Range) Lalbiakthanga Khiangte, more than 90 vehicles have entered Mizoram under police escort till Thursday evening.
He said that about 12 vehicles were also released from Mizoram and traffic movement is going on uninterrupted on Thursday.
The emergency meeting of MZP blamed state home minister Lalchamliana for being “inactive and inefficient” at the time when the state is facing boundary disputes with its neighbouring states.
The meeting also expressed regret over personnel of Indian Reserved battalion from Mizoram being reportedly withdrawn from an auto-rickshaw stand, which is the transit point of Mizoram’s Vairengte and Lailapur or Bhaga bazar in Assam and also Assam’s police reportedly occupying the same place.
Meanwhile, chief minister Zoramthanga has instructed the state home minister and chief secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo to ask forces not to withdraw from the border areas till final decision is made by the Centre and normalcy returns in the area.
A Kolasib district administration official told that Assam police did not occupy the transit point near Vairengte but they were escorting truckers till the transit point.
Home secretary level meeting of both the states was held at Lailapur and another meeting under the leadership of Union Home Joint Secretary (In charge of NE) Satyendra Garg at Silchar on Wednesday.
During the meetings both sides resolved to restore peace and normalcy along the inter-state border.
Both the governments also agreed to provide security to truckers for smooth movement of commodities between the two states.
The present border standoff between Mizoram and Assam took place on October 9 when officials of Assam’s Karimganj district allegedly demolished a farm hut on the disputed land and damaged several plantations belonging to two farmers of
Thinghlun village in western Mizoram’s Mamit district.
This was followed by the demolition of check post set up by Mizoram police on the disputed land near Saihapui “V” village by Assam police and local people of the border area in Assam on October 17 as they claimed that the area belonged to Assam and Mizoram was encroaching on Assam’s territory.
Mizoram also claimed the area as belonging to it.
On the same day (October 17), a violent clash took place at an auto-rickshaw stand, which is the transit point of Vairengte village in Mizoram’s Kolasib district and Lailapur or Bhaga bazar in Assam’s Cachar district when residents of Lailapur allegedly pelted stones at personnel of India Reserve Battalion and civilians prompting residents of Vairengte to retaliate.
About 20 temporary bamboo huts and stalls set up by residents of Lailapur along the National Highway-306 were torched by mobs from Vairengte.
At least 7 people from Mizoram and few others from Assam were injured in the clash that took place in the night.