Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday laid wreaths to pay homage to the slain police who lost their lives in the deadly conflict which broke out at the Assam-Mizoram border a day before.
Earlier in the day, Sarma landed in Silchar and visited the injured police personnel at the Silchar Medical College and Hospital (SMCH). After the meet, Sarma tweeted:
He is scheduled to visit the border area as well.
The border dispute, which dates back to 1875, witnessed an unprecedented flare-up on 26 July that left five police personnel dead and nearly 60 people injured. It was closely followed by the two chief ministers taking to Twitter to exchange blame and present their versions of the incident.
The incident occurred just two days after home minister Amit Shah met the chief ministers of the eight northeastern states on the need to resolve longstanding border disputes. As per the local media in Mizoram, the conflict broke out after eight farmers' huts near Aitlang stream were set ablaze by unidentified miscreants. Mizoram Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Northern Range), Lalbiakthanga Khiangte, told PTI that the huts belonged to farmers from Vairengte, the nearest border village from Assam who have lodged complaints with the police.
Later, in a press statement, squarely blaming Assam for the flare-up, Mizoram home minister Lalchamliana stated: "¦ Assam Police at Vairengte town "overran" a duty post manned by the Mizoram Police, starting a skirmish. Unarmed civilians were assaulted by Assam Police by lathi charging them and firing tear gas, causing injuries to several civilians."
Assam, in its own press release dismissed such claims, stating that "Mizoram began constructing 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. When a team of officials from Assam went there address the issue, they were surrounded and "attacked" by miscreants who were "visibly supported" by the Mizoram police."
The Assam chief minister on Monday tweeted:
On Tuesday he posted a video on his Twitter handle to back up the claim.
While the Ministry of Home Affairs has stepped in and the situation at the border seems to be under control as both chief ministers have shown interest in resolving the issue amicably, it is uncertain how long it will continue before the next crisis.