In continuation of the already existing tension along the Mizoram-Assam border, two abandoned houses in the area were burned down by unidentified individuals on Friday night, the police said on Sunday. No casualty has been reported. Both Assam and Mizoram claimed that the incident took place within their territory.
Assam claims that the perpetrators were “miscreants from Mizoram”. Meanwhile, Mizoram suspects “Bangladeshi immigrants who wanted to flare up the border dispute” as responsible for the incident.
The houses, as per the Hailakandi police, belong to Ali Hussain and Saidul Islam. Hailakandi SP Ramandeep Kaur also claimed that miscreants from Mizoram have further erected a structure 300 metres inside Assam’s territory near Gutguti area in the district. While cases have been filed and investigation is underway, security and patrolling in the area has also been intensified.The matter was also discussed with higher-level authorities in Mizoram and the issue will hopefully be resolved soon, the Hailakandi SP said.
Kaur, along with Hailakandi Deputy Commissioner Rohan Kumar Jha and Ramnathpur police station officer-in-charge Liton Nath visited the area to review the prevailing situation. Kaur said that the location falls under the inner-line reserve forest area and is very difficult to reach from the Assam side.
However, Vanlalfaka Ralte, the SP of Mizoram’s Kolasib district, claimed that the abandoned houses were located in Zophai area near Bairabi town in Kolasib. The houses, abandoned since February, were earlier occupied by non-tribals hired by Mizos to look after their paddy fields, he added
In fact, it was SP Ralte who said, “We suspect that the burning of the houses was a political ploy by Bangladeshi immigrants to revive the border issue between the two neighbouring states.”
The area in focus where the incident happened is within the territory of Mizoram and not within the inner line reserved forest area, he said. He further added that the owners of the field have land documents in Mizoram and pay land taxes to the state government. A case has been lodged at the Bairabi police station and a manhunt is on to find the perpetrators.