Six Assam policemen killed in Assam-Mizoram border clash | Popgen Tech
GUWAHATI/AIZAWL- At least six Assam Police personnel were killed while defending the state’s “constitutional border” with Mizoram and more than 60 injured, including an SP, as the border dispute between the two northeastern states erupted into a bloody clash on Monday, officials. said.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Assam and Mizoram chief ministers Himanta Biswa Sarma and Zoramthanga, respectively, and asked them to ensure peace on the disputed border and find an amicable settlement.
Assam’s Barak Valley districts of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi share a 164 km long border with Mizoram’s three districts of Aizawl, Kolasib and Mamit.
After allegations of encroachment on both sides’ territory in recent weeks and clashes that have heightened tensions between the two states, violent clashes have been reported on the inter-state border that have ended in the deaths of at least six Assam policemen.
The incidents came two days after Amit Shah held talks with the chief ministers of the eight northeastern states and underlined the need to resolve the lingering border dispute.
“I am deeply saddened to inform that six brave jawans of @assampolice have sacrificed their lives while defending the constitutional borders of our state on the Assam-Mizoram border. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families,” Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted.
Mizoram Home Minister Lalchamliana, in a statement, said that the Mizoram Police responded “spontaneously by firing back” at the Assam Police after 200 of its personnel forcibly crossed a duty post held by the CRPF personnel and indulged in arson, attacks on unarmed and shot.
Though Sarma initially did not blame the Mizoram police for the killing of the six policemen, he later tweeted, “Now clear evidence is emerging which unfortunately shows that Mizoram Police used Mizoram Light (LMG) against @assampolice personnel.
“This is sad, unfortunate and speaks volumes about the intent and seriousness of the situation.”
A senior Assam Police officer, who is still inside the forest amid continuous firing from across the border, told PTI that at least 50 personnel, including Cachar Superintendent of Police Vaibhav Chandrakant Nimbalkar, were injured in firing and stone pelting.
The Assam police officer claimed that “thugs” from across the border started firing suddenly when civil officials from both sides were holding talks to settle their differences.
“I immediately cannot say how many people were injured, but I guess it is at least 50 personnel. Our SP was also injured in the firing and a bullet hit his leg,” the officer said over the phone.
“I along with the team are still sitting in the foothills. We have engaged in a dialogue with Kolasib SP Mr Ralte of Mizoram and his additional SP. Assam Police IGP, DC, SP were all there and they were talking to find a solution for the problem.
“We did not allow our public to go there, but the people kept throwing stones. Many people were injured. They also hit us with marbles using catapults. While we were talking, they opened fire from top of a mountain,” he said.
The officer said that the Assam police team “somehow” managed to take position and start retaliating.
Meanwhile, Silchar Medical College and Hospital (SMCH) Principal Babul Bezbarua told PTI that at least 50 police personnel have been admitted with bullet injuries.
“There is a constant flow of injured personnel. While we are talking, another car with some other injured people entered the hospital. All of them have bullet or pellet wounds. We have called all the doctors and formed different teams to treat the injured,” he said.
Around 10 others, mostly policemen, were admitted to a hospital in nearby Dholai, officials said.
During his separate phone conversations with Assam CM Sarma and his Mizoram counterpart Zoramthanga, Shah asked them to maintain peace on the inter-state border where tensions prevail, official sources said.
The Home Minister asked the Chief Ministers to resolve the border issue through discussion.
Soon after, Mizoram Home Minister Lalchamliana said in a statement that after Shah’s intervention, the Assam Police was withdrawn from the spot and the duty post was handed over to CRPF personnel.
Earlier, Zoramthanga had accused the Assam Police of using lathi-charge and tear gas shells while the Assam Police claimed that a large number of “miscreants” from Mizoram were indulging in stoning and attacking Assam government officials.
Zoramthanga posted a video on his Twitter handle showing a standoff between Assam police personnel and a group of youths wielding sticks.
“Shri @AmitShah ji kindly look into the matter. This needs to stop now. #MizoramAssamBorderTension,” he said, tagging the office of the Prime Minister and the office of the Union Home Minister, Sarma and officials from Assam’s Cachar district.
Zoramthanga also claimed in another tweet that “an innocent couple” on their way back to Mizoram via Cachar was “manhanded” by “thugs and goons”.
“How are you going to justify these violent acts?” he asked.
The Assam Police countered his allegations by saying that people from Mizoram attacked its personnel and pelted them with stones.
“It is unfortunate that a large number of miscreants from Mizoram are indulging in stone pelting and these forms of attack on the Assam Government Officials, who are stationed in Lailapur to protect Assam’s land from encroachment,” he tweeted.
The Assam chief minister also tweeted: “Hon @ZoramthangaCM ji, Kolasib (Mizoram) SP is asking us to withdraw our post till then civilians will not listen nor stop violence.
“How can we run the government in these circumstances? Hope you will intervene sooner @AmitShah @PMOIndia,” he tweeted posting a video of the situation.
The two states share a nearly 165 km border where violent confrontations between residents and officials have become frequent. (PTI)