The recent violence in Cachar district, along the Assam-Mizoram border, was “perpetrated” by the police force in the neighbouring state, an all-party delegation of the Assembly here that had visited the site of the incident said on Friday.
In its report tabled in the Assam Assembly, the team also said that the incident “was nothing but a cold-blooded massacre”, with no effort on the part of the Mizoram Police to control the mob on its side.
The delegation noted that the “Mizoram Police along with some miscreants indulged in encroachment activities” in Assam, and claimed that the border dispute has been festering for long due to this reason.
Six Assam Police personnel were killed in a bloody conflict along the interstate boundary on July 26.
In its observations, the team said that the “unfortunate incident was perpetrated by the Mizoram Police”.
It maintained that the issue of encroachment should be pursued with the central government and accordingly, an all-party delegation, headed by the Speaker, must visit Delhi soon to meet Union Home minister Amit Shah and other central leaders in this connection.
“From the attacking style of Mizoram, it could be apparently said that it was nothing but a cold-blooded massacre leading to heavy casualties,” the report stated.
According to the report, IGP Anurag Agarwal, who was at the incident site, told the delegation that “land encroachments, violations in the form of construction of camps, roads, etc in the occupied land by Mizoram within the constitutional boundary of Assam were at the root of the discord”.
A joint team of Cachar district civil and police administrations, including deputy commissioner Keerthi Jalli, IGP Agarwal, DIG (southern range) D Mukherjee, superintendent of police Viabhav C Nimbalkar and Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Cachar, Tejas Mariswamy, had visited Lailapur in Cachar on July 26.
A day earlier, the DFO had submitted a requisition for police personnel to accompany him as he sought to serve notices on officials of Mizoram, based on preliminary offence report registered by him under various sections of the Assam Forest Regulation Act, 1891, the delegation said.
While officials on the other side refused to accept the notices, Mizoram Police personnel “in heavy numbers” arrived at the scene, the report underlined.
During discussions between the two sides that lasted for more than two hours, the Assam team tried to serve the notices which were refused by the Mizoram officials, and in the meantime, “miscreants from Mizoram’s Vairengte town and surrounding areas gathered in the area armed with sharp weapons and air guns and attacked the on-duty Assam government officials, grievously injuring several of them,” said the all-party delegation report.
Kolasib SP Vanlalfaka Ralte had abruptly left the spot after receiving a phone call and “suddenly there was an unprovoked heavy firing from automatic weaponry including machine guns from Mizoram side, aimed at Assam government officials present,” the report said.
Thereafter, the Assam Police took position and fired in self-defence, but their counterparts and accompanying miscreants were at a vantage position, the delegation claimed.
IGP Agarwal, in his deposition before the Assembly panel, further said that the firing continued for more than half-an-hour, without any provocation from the Assam Police.
He also said Mizoram was carrying out construction work on the reserve forest land within the territory of Assam, in violation of the law.
The Assembly delegation, during the visit on July 31, met representatives of various members of ethnic communities, who were unanimous in their demand for a permanent solution to the border dispute.
Assembly Speaker Biswajit Daimary, who led the 17-member team, after consultations with various stakeholders, said that the Assam government would definitely take urgent measures to solve the issue amicably, the report stated.
He also said that “primitive laws” framed during the British regime are causing hindrances in undertaking developmental activities, adding that the Assam government will, however, always act in accordance with the law.
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