From Trishna Pegu Doley
GUWAHATI : Guardian Minister for Hailakandi, Parimal Suklabaidya held a meeting with the district administration regarding border related issues pertaining to the Assam-Mizoram inter-state border on Sunday. Following incidents of protests and economic blockade in Cachar as well as in Hailakandi in the wake of July 26 incident in which six Assam Police personnel lost their lives and scores injured following indiscriminate firing from the other side of the border, Minister Suklabaidya discussed a gamut of border related issues, including the need to keep unhindered flow of essential commodities and medicine to the neighbouring state hard hit by shortage of supplies following the economic blockade resorted to by the people of Assam living close to the border in Hailakandi and Cachar districts bordering Mizoram.
Minister Suklabaidya said he along with Minister Ashok Singhal held a fruitful meeting with the district administration of Cachar and other stakeholders at Lailapur on Saturday evening that eventually led to the withdrawal of the economic blockade resorted to by the local people since the July 26 border flare-up. The Guardian Minister asked the civil and police administrations to take all possible steps to instill confidence among the people that the ‘Government stands with them through thick and thin and their safety and security will be ensured’. Suklabaidya asked the administration to be in strict vigil to foil the nefarious designs of certain forces at work and to create a congenial atmosphere for maintenance of peace and tranquility along the border. The Minister urged the representatives of political parties who took part in the meeting to extend support and cooperation to the Government in bringing back normalcy along the inter-state border and in ensuring smooth flow of essential goods to Mizoram on humanitarian ground. The meeting was attended, among others, by Deputy Commissioner, Rohan Kumar Jha, DIG Southern Range, Superintendent of Police, District Development Commissioner and other senior officials.
Later, talking to media persons, Suklabaidya said surface movement of essential commodities would start from Hailakandi district bordering Mizoram today and that transportation through rail would begin once the tracks are put in place. “Movement of goods will begin today, barring six numbers of gas tankers on safety ground. I thank the local people, the MLAs and other stakeholders for making this happen,” he added. Suklabaidya said that the Mizoram Government has assured that they would institute an inquiry into the violent incident on July 26 that led to the killing of six Assam Police personnel and injury to many and punishment to the guilty. He said that the Assam Government would also on its part do everything possible, including approaching the Supreme Court for justice. The Minister said that there has been no encroachment on Assam’s territory by Mizoram since the BJP-led Government took over the reins of power in 2016. He said the border dispute with Mizoram has been going on since 1982 following no clear-cut demarcation of the boundary and that the present Government has taken up the matter with the Central Government for durable solution of the vexed border problem. Assam shares a 164.6-kilometre long inter-state border with Mizoram. This border is shared by three districts of South Assam — Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj — and three districts of Mizoram — Kolasib, Mamit and Aizawl.