Mizoram border

Guwahati, July 11: Some unidentified miscreants allegedly lobbed grenades targeting road construction workers in Cachar district on the Assam-Mizoram border. No one was injured in the incident that took place at Lailapur area under Dholai assembly constituency, police said.

Cachar superintendent of police Vaibhav Chandrakant Nimbalkar confirmed hearing the sound of a blast, while the workers said they were attacked with grenades.

“We were at the inspection of the work when we heard the sound of a blast. We rushed to the area where the workers said some miscreants from Mizoram side threw grenades targeting them. But fortunately, no one was injured. We are going to investigate the matter,” Nimbalkar said.

The incident took place a day after chief secretaries of Mizoram and Assam met in New Delhi on Friday to discuss the ongoing border dispute between both states. The meeting remained inconclusive after Mizoram sought more time on Assam’s proposal to maintain the status quo along with the border and withdrawal security forces from the disputed areas.

Three districts of Assam’s Barak Valley share a 164 km long border with three districts of Mizoram. There have been border disputes between both states since Mizoram’s formation in 1987. The disputes led to clashes in August last year and February this year.

This is the second time when explosives were used to terrorize people along the Assam-Mizoram border. Last year, a primary school on the Assam side of the inter-state border was bombed by miscreants at Upper Painom area in Dholai.

“Some tension is going on along the constitutional boundary between both states. We are always open to discussions and resolutions of our disputes. But don’t encroach on our land. As of now, Assam police are working day and night to protect our constitutional boundary,” chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said at Guwahati.

According to officials of the Cachar district administration, a road is under construction from Dholai’s Dholakhal to the Upper Painom area. The Assam government project was getting delayed because of obstructions made by some groups from Mizoram’s side.

When a team of top-level officials visited to enquire about the status of work on Sunday, a group of people including civilians and few armed men in uniform obstructed the team. They warned them not to move further and used abusive language. The local police have confirmed that the incident took place within the territory of Assam on Saturday afternoon. On Saturday, the delegation was stopped at Lailapur area while taking stock of the work.

Also Read: Assam-Mizoram chief secretary to meet over inter-state border row in Delhi on July 9

According to the officials, miscreants from the Mizoram side have so far encroached 6.5 kilometers within the territory of Assam. Senior police and administrative officials are leading an eviction process along the border in the three districts of Barak Valley in Assam.

After the grenade blast, locals in large numbers have started leaving the area with their bags and baggage. “This is not the first time that Mizo miscreants have used explosives to terrorize us and capture our land. Security personnel from our district come to visit the area when something happens. But on the other side, armed men in uniform and aggressive locals from the Mizoram side continuously stay at the border and encroach on the land. We cannot live under such an atmosphere of terror.”