Aizawl: The Mizoram-Assam border row continues to simmer and it appeared to be far from reaching an immediate solution as both states police forces continued to wage war by registering criminal cases and counter FIRs.
This was after Monday’s gunfight between the two forces over border tussle that left at least six cops from Assam dead and more than 50 people injured.
After Assam police summoned six Mizoram officials and an MP for questioning, Mizoram police said that it has booked Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, four senior police officers and two district officials under different charges, including “attempt to murder” and “criminal conspiracy.”
The four senior Assam police officers, who have been named in the FIR filed at Virengte police station late Monday, are Inspector General of Police (IGP) Anurag Aggarwal, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Cachar Devojyoti Mukherjee, Cachar Superintendent of Police Cahndrakant Nimbalkar, and officer in-charge of Dholai Police Station, Sahab Uddin, Mizoram IGP (Headquarters) John Neihlaia said.
Cachar Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli and Cachar Divisional Forest Officer Sunnydeo Chaudhary have also been booked under the same charges, he said.
The four police officers and the two administrative officials have been summoned to appear before the investigation officer at Vairengte police station on Sunday, he said.
Besides, Mizoram police registered criminal cases against unidentified 200 personnel of Assam police over the alleged aggression and firing that took in Vairengte town just a few distances from a sub-divisional office on Monday.
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The sections invoked against Sarma, six officials and 200 police personnel include 307/120-B/270/325/326 and 353/336/ 334/448/34 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3 of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR) as well as Section 3 and 6 of the Mizoram Containment and Prevention of Covid-19 Act and Section 27(1) (a) of the Arms Act.
The FIR said that around 200 fully armed police personnel from Assam led by Assam IGP and other officials came to a border outpost manned by Mizoram police at auto rickshaw stand in Vairengte’s Kawngthar locality after crossing the CRPF camp located few meters from the police camp and forcefully occupied the police outpost.
Mizoram police officials urged them to withdraw in order to maintain peace and status quo, to which the Assam police refused.
They “forcefully informed SP, Kolasib that the area falls within Assam territory and they intended to construct a camp as per the instruction of Chief Minister, Assam himself”, the FIR said.
“They had arrived at the spot with tents and other materials for construction of camp which clearly showed their intention to forcibly occupy the Mizoram BOP by force, as their convoy of vehicles consist of Ambulances and around 20 vehicles,” it said.
At the same time residents of Vairengte also arrived on the spot and subsequently a confrontation and scuffle took place between civilians and Assam police, who resorted to lathi-charge and fired tear gas and smoke cells towards civilians leaving at least 7 people injured, it said.
A Mizo couple, who were proceeding to Mizoram from Assam were assaulted and their car vandalized by miscreants from Assam at disturbed area on Monday, it said.
The FIR mentioned that at a time when negotiation was going on, Assam police started re-enforcing its troops and continue to occupy the Mizo Indian Reserve Battalion outpost and the situation started to heat up when many civilians from Assam’s Lailapur shown up and started pelting stone towards the protesting civilians from Mizoram.
Assam police then started firing stun grenade, tear smoke shells and at around 4:40 pm they started firing bullets to Mizoram police forces.
The Mizoram police forces took counter measure and fired back to Assam police in self-defense and to save civilians, it said.
The gunfight lasted for about 45 minutes and at around 5:30 PM, a white flag was flown by Assam side from its LMG mounted bunkers where the maximum firing was done, it said.
Mizoram police then ceased fire and asked Assam police to withdraw, it said.
From Mizoram side, one personnel sustained gun shot on his left arm and a civilian from Vairengte, who sustained bullet injury on his thigh was rushed to Kolasib district hospital, it said.
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Meanwhile, Assam police has summoned Kolasib Deputy Commissioner H. Lalthlangliana, a sub-divisional officer and four cops, inclusing Kolasib SP Vanlalfaka Ralte to appear for a grill on Sunday.
Mizoram Rajya Sabha member K. Vanlalvena, who is now in Delhi, has also been hunted by Assam police for questioning over his controversial remarks “Kill them all,” highly placed sources said.
The Centre has deployed additional troops of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in the border areas to defuse tension and maintain peace.
Police said that the situation along the inter-state border is calm now.