The Assam goverment has asked Mizoram to restrain its people and police personnel from indulging in wanton violence and work towards restoring peace.
While expressing his concern over the Assam-Mizoram clash in which five Assam police personnel were killed and over 50 people were injured, the Assam government in a statement said: “The Government of Assam is committed to maintaining cordial relations and peace, while restoring neighbourly relations.”
The statement said “in another breach of existing agreements and the existing status quo”, Mizoram began constructing a road towards Rengti Basti in Assam, destroying the Inner Line Reserve Forest in Lailapur area.
Simultaneously, the Mizoram side also set up a new armed camp on a hillock next to the camp of the CRPF, which is a neutral force, in the same vicinity.
In an attempt to diffuse the situation and resolve matters, a team of Assam officials including an IGP, DIG, the Cachar deputy commissioner and superintendent of police and Cachar DFO went to the area on Monday morning to request the Mizoram side not to disturb the status quo.
“Sadly, however, they were surrounded and attacked by a mob of miscreants from the Mizoram side, which was visibly supported by the Mizoram Police,” the Assam government said in a statement.
The aggressive behaviour and posture of the mob along with the fact that they were brandishing weapons and wearing helmets was clearly seen in all available video footage, the statement said.
The Assam government claimed the mob from Mizoram side pelted stones on the Assam officials and destroyed three vehicles including the DC’s car and the Mizoram Police simultaneously fired tear gas shells on the delegation. “The IGP was injured in this barrage,” the statement said.
In the afternoon on Monday, SP Kolasib along with two additional SP level officers held a discussion with the Assam delegation, during which they were requested to control the mob and not let them take the law in their hands, thus disturbing the peace.
The Mizoram officials went ostensibly to talk to the mob, but the the Kolasib SP returned again around 4:30 pm to state that he had no control over the mob.
“Horrifically, even while Kolasib SP was in talks with the Assam officers, the Mizoram Police opened fire on the Assam officials and civilians, who had by then gathered there, from two dominating high features with automatic weapons including LMGs,” the statement said.
“It is with a heavy heart that we are constrained to note that what is being termed by the Mizoram side as an intrusion and aggression by Assam, has left 5 Assam Police personnel,” it said.
The deceased Assam Police personnel have been identified as SI Swapan Kr. Roy, constable Liton Suklabaidya, constable MH Barbhuyia, constable N Hussain, constable S Barbhuiya.
The statement said according to initial report, the figure of casualty was stated to be 6, but later it was confirmed that 5 Assam Police personnel died in the attack while more than 50 were injured.
Cachar SP Vaibhav Nimbalkar was also injured in the attack. He has a bullet embedded in his leg and is in the ICU, the statement said.
“The Assam Police and officials have shown remarkable restraint in the face of an unimaginably horrific attack on them that is borne out by the fact that there are no casualties on the Mizoram side despite the huge number of miscreants attacking the Assam officials.,” the statement said.
The fact that there were a large number of civilians from Mizoram present in the area was taken into account by the Assam Police, which showed restraint even though the same people were attacking it, the statement added.
The Assam government requested Mizoram to restrain its people and police personnel from indulging in wanton violence and work towards restoring peace.