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Assam directs residents not to visit Mizoram, orders checking of all vehicles

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date
Assam directs residents not to visit Mizoram, orders checking of all vehicles

New Delhi: Given the critical prevailing situation of the bloody border clash and subsequent developments, the Assam government on Thursday issued unprecedented travel advisory asking its citizens not to visit Mizoram and those staying in the neighbouring state to maintain utmost caution.

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Under this travel advisory, issued by Commissioner and Secretary, Home and Political, M.S. Manivannan, the people of Assam are advised not to travel to Mizoram as any threat to their personal safety cannot be accepted. All vehicles entering Assam from Mizoram will be checked for “illicit drugs”, the Assam government said in a notification Thursday, days after six men of the Assam Police were killed in an unprecedented gunfight between the two police forces.

“People of Assam, staying in Mizoram due to work-related compulsion, should exercise utmost caution,” it said.

The advisory said that there have been several cases of violent skirmishes in the Assam-Mizoram border area, including recently in Assam’s Cachar, Karimganj, and Hailakandi districts bordering Mizoram.

Noting that Cachar on Monday saw indiscriminate firing on the police personnel as well as civilians, claiming the lives of six policemen and leaving scores of police personnel and civilians seriously injured, it said: “Even after this incident, certain Mizo civil society, students, and youth organisations are constantly issuing provocative statements against the state of Assam and its people.

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“It has been reliably learned from video footage available with Assam Police, that many civilians are heavily armed with automatic weapons etc. In view of the above and with the purpose of ensuring safety and security, this travel advisory was issued to all the people of Assam,” it said.

Justifying its move to check vehicles from Mizoram, the Assam government said that within a span of two months, 912 cases have been registered and 1,560 persons arrested and huge quantities of illicit drugs confiscated.

A tweet by a senior Assam Police official, GP Singh, said the government was continuing its “offensive against drug cartels operating from Mizoram and beyond”. Mr Singh urged people to cooperate in the interest of the “Gennext of our country”.

“During the drive against illlicit drugs, it has been observed that most of the drugs were routed through Assam via Mizoram from across the border,” said the Assam order, adding this “trafficking of illicit drugs via Mizoram causes great concern and threat to society”.

“In order to check trafficking of illicit drugs, it is felt necessary to check all vehicles entering into Assam from Mizoram. Such vehicles will be thoroughly checked by personnel of Assam Police at the point of entry at all Assam-Mizoram borders,” said the order.

The vehicles, it said, will be released only after the officer concerned is satisfied that no drugs were carried in them.

While there has been no official reaction from the Mizoram government on the latest move by Assam, many social media users from the hill state have hit out claiming the move is intended for harassment of Mizoram residents who can access the rest of the country by road only through Assam.

The Assam-Mizoram border violence had started on Monday afternoon at the Inner Line Reserve Forest area of Cachar district. Later, each state had accused the local police of the other of intrusion and opening fire without provocation.

The clashes stem from a decades old land dispute between the two states over “improper demarcation of the state border”.

Tension along the inter-state border in Cachar and Hailakandi districts has been escalating since October last year, with frequent incidents of burning of houses and encroachment of land.

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