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Fresh tensions brew between Assam and Mizoram over alleged bridge construction

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Guwahati: Fresh tensions are brewing between Assam and Mizoram as skirmish took place over reports of alleged bridge construction by Mizoram in Assam’s bordering district of Hailakandi.

The Assam Police have now reached out to the Mizoram authorities to stop the construction and maintain the status quo as was agreed upon. This comes weeks after the violent clashes were witnessed along the Assam-Mizoram border last month.

The Mizoram authorities, however, have not budged from constructing the bridge and a fresh round of confrontation is now in the making. 

“On Friday, when few Mizoram workers were trying to build a bridge in Kachurtal, the Officer-in-Charge of Ramnathpur Police Station and his patrolling team immediately reached the spot and stopped the construction work. He called it a trespass by Mizoram as Mizoram had no authority to build a bridge on Assam side,” said Gaurav Upadhyay, Superintendent of Police of Hailakandi district.

On Saturday, around 40-50 Mizo security forces reached the bridge and some of them also came towards the Assam side of the bridge, he said.

Assam police have claimed that the Mizoram security forces have violated the joint statement issued by both states on 5th August to maintain peace in the border areas.

“Moreover, when they were asked by local policemen to leave Assam land, in an act of brazen belligerence they refused to do so,” he said.

In order to assert the position of Assam and to ask Mizoram forces to retreat from the Assam side of the bridge, a party of around 200 Assam Police personnel and Commandos under the leadership of SP Hailakandi and other senior officials reached Kachurtal.

The Assam police said that that it has given the respective civil administration a chance to amicably resolve the matter by stopping the construction on the unauthorized bridge and removal of Mizoram forces.

Gaurav Upadhyay has also claimed that the complaint by the Mizoram administration of theft of construction materials by Assam police is ‘concocted’, ‘baseless’ and ‘malafide’.

“The allegation of any theft by a disciplined force like Assam Police is absolutely concocted, baseless, malafide and devoid of any facts and is an attempt by Mizoram administration to divert the attention from the main issue, that is illegal construction by Mizoram authorities on Assam soil,” he said.

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