In view of border tensions with Mizoram, the Assam government on Monday urged the neighbouring state to restrain its "people and Police personnel" from indulging in "wanton violence" and work towards restoring peace.
In a release, the Assam government said that in "another breach" of existing agreements and the existing status quo, Mizoram began constructing a road towards Rengti Basti in Assam, "destroying the Inner Line Reserve Forest in Lailapur area."
"Simultaneously, the Mizoram side also set up a new armed camp on a hillock next to the camp of the neutral force, CRPF, in the same vicinity. In an attempt to diffuse the situation and resolve matters, a team of Assam officials including an IGP, DIG, DC Cachar, SP Cachar and DFO Cachar went to the area this morning to request the Mizoram side not to disturb the status quo. Sadly, however, they were surrounded and attacked by a mob of miscreants from the Mizoram side, which was visibly supported by the Mizoram Police," the Assam government said.
It noted that the aggressive behaviour and posture of the mob from Mizoram's side, along with the fact that they were brandishing weapons and wearing helmets, could be clearly seen in all available video footage.
It further said that while the mob pelted stones on the Assam officials and destroyed three vehicles including the DC's car, the Mizoram Police simultaneously fired Tear Gas Shells on the delegation.
"The IGP was injured in this barrage. In the afternoon. SP Kolasib along with two Additional SP level Officers held a discussion with the Assam delegation, during which they were requested to control the mob and not let them take the law in their hands, thus disturbing the peace. The Mizoram officials went ostensibly to talk to the mob, but the SP Kolasib returned again around 4:30 pm to state that he had no control over the mob," the release stated.
It claimed that even while SP, Kolasib was in talks with the Assam officers, the Mizoram Police opened fire on the Assam officials and civilians, who had by then gathered there, from two dominating high features with automatic weapons Including LMGs.
"It is with a heavy heart that we are constrained to note that what is being termed by the Mizoram side as an intrusion and aggression by Assam has left 5 Assam Police personnel confirmed dead (6 as per initial reports, which is being confirmed) and more than 50 injured, including SP Cachar Vaibhav Nimbalkar, who has a bullet embedded in his leg and is in the ICU," the government stated further.
It said that Assam Police and Officials have shown restraint in the face of an "unimaginably horrific attack" on them, adding, "the Government of Assam is committed to maintaining cordial relations and peace while restoring neighbourly relations. It requests the state of Mizoram to restrain its people and Police personnel from indulging in wanton violence and work towards restoring peace." (ANI)