The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is in regular talks with Assam and Mizoram administrations over the situation amid the continued border row between the two northeast states, the officials said here on Saturday.
Admitting that the situation is tense but under control, the MHA officials said the battalions of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) patrolling the area along National Highway 306 between the two states is in full strength to prevent any further clash between the state police.
The ministry, however, refused to comment over the issue of cross FIRs by the states in the matter.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also stepped forward on Saturday to ease the tension. Speaking about the registration of FIR against him, he said he would be “very happy to join in any investigation”.
However, he questioned why the case was not being handed over to a neutral agency, especially when the place of occurrence was well within the constitutional territory of Assam.
He said he has conveyed the same to his Mizoram counter part Zoramthanga. In an unprecedented move, Mizoram Police filed an FIR against Sarma in connection with the border clashes.
Sources stated that Union Home Minister Amit Shah has several times spoken to both the chief ministers over the issue and urged them to ensure that peace prevails in the region.
Earlier, the Mizoram Home Department Secretary Pi Lalbiaksangi also wrote a letter to the Additional Secretary (Northeast) Piyush Goyal in MHA complaining that that armed police personnel were being mobilised by Assam at Dholai and Hawaithang area along the inter-state border.
Citing media reports that additional enforcement of around four platoons of Assam Police Commandos have been deputed, he also requested the Union Home Ministry to issue appropriate instructions to Assam Government to refrain from such reinforcements and to pull back those contingents.
Earlier, Mizoram had written to Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla to immediately ask Assam to lift the economic blockade clamped by residents of the Barak Valley with allegedly support of the state machinery, but the Assam government had flatly denied the charges.
Clarifying on the alleged ‘travel ban’ by the Assam administration, Sarma on Friday said that the state government’s advisory was not meant to put a curb on travel. “We have advised our people to only think before going to Mizoram as civilians there have arms in their hands and this will continue until the Mizoram government seizes their weapons,” he added.
Amid the counter allegation of each state transgressing on the other’s territory, the situation escalated on July 26 afternoon, when at Vairengte auto stand inside the Mizoram, five Assam Police personnel and a civilian were killed and over 50 others, including a superintendent of police were injured as the Mizoram Police opened fire on a team of the Assam officials.
Immediately after the clash, Shah spoke to the Chief Ministers of the both states and advised them to defuse the tension and also asked them to withdraw their police personnel from the disputed site.
Later, on July 28, the Union Home Secretary chaired a meeting with the Chief Secretaries and Director Generals of Police of Assam and Mizoram wherein both the states agreed for deployment of central police force (CRPF) in the disturbed border areas along NH306 under the command of senior officer of the Force.
During the meeting, both state governments also agreed to continue discussions mutually to resolve the border issue in an amicable manner.