GUWAHATI: The Assam Government has issued a press statement on the Mizoram issue and stated that the Mizoram police had opened fire on Assam officials and civilians. The statement outlines the chain of events that took place in Lailapur and ultimately led to the killing of 6 Assam Police personnel and one civilian and leaving 50 injured.
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 aggressive behaviour and posture of this mob along with the fact that they were brandishing weapons and wearing helmets is clearly seen in all available video footage. 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 4:30pm to state that he had no control over the mob. Horrifically, 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 (SI Swapan Kr. Roy, Cn Liton Suklabaidya, Cn M.H. Barbhuyia, Cn N Hussain, Cn S Barbhuiya) confirmed dead (6 as per initial reports, which is being confirmed) and more than 50 injured, including SP Cachar, Shri Vaibhav Nimbalkar, IPS who has a bullet embedded in his leg and is in the ICU.
The Assam Police and Officials have shown remarkable restraint in the face of an unimaginably horrific attack on them that is borne out by the fact that there are no casualties on the Mizoram side despite the huge number of miscreants attacking the Assam officials. The fact that there were a large number of civilians from Mizoram present in the area was taken into account by the Assam Police, which showed restraint even though the same people were attacking it.
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.