Blast rekindles Assam-Mizoram border tension

The arrest of a Mizo security person following a low-intensity blast has rekindled the Assam-Mizoram border tension.

Officials in southern Assam’s Hailakandi district said the police cordoned off the Bhaicherra area near the inter-State border after an explosion at 1:30 a.m. on October 29. An Indian Reserve Battalion jawan from Mizoram identified as Laldintluanga was found loitering at the spot.

“He could not explain his presence. We arrested him and sent him to judicial custody,” Hailakandi’s SP Gaurav Upadhyay told The Hindu on Saturday.

He said trouble started brewing on October 26 when a few people from Mizoram restarted a controversial bridge construction stopped by the Assam police a few weeks ago.

The Hailakandi district officials said their Mizoram counterparts have removed the construction material from the dispute spot towards easing the tension.

The Mizo Zirlai Pawl (students’ union) has threatened to stop the entry of vehicles from Assam if the arrested jawan is not released. The union accused Assam officials of encouraging the Hailakandi locals to build structures in the disputed area.

The Assam-Mizoram border has been restive since October 2020. The dispute snowballed into a gunfight between the security forces of the two northeastern States in July in which six Assam police personnel were killed.

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