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Minister role hint in border row

Aizawl, Sept. 30: Tension along the Vairengte sector of the Mizoram-Assam border was palpable following an impromptu incursion of a cavalcade, allegedly including Assam minister of state for border areas, S. Ahmed, from the Silchar side last evening.

Sources said the convoy was stopped by two Mizoram policemen on duty, and supported by half a dozen women who refused to let them through. A major confrontation was avoided as the convoy pulled back, the sources said.

The incident comes on the heels of the road blockade by the All Barak Youth Students Association just a few days ago demanding free entry into the town without the stipulated inner-line permit.

The Mizo Zirlai Pawl, a frontline organisation here, called an emergency meeting at 7am today and rushed off to the border town to protest against the show of force. This was stated by the general secretary of the body, Lalhmachhuana, in a note to the press.

The Mizo organisation was surprised at the poor arrangement along the border at a time when the situation was so tense. Local residents said if anything untoward happened it would solely be the Mizoram governmentís fault.

Asked about the incident, DIG northern range, C. Zorammuana, told The Telegraph that he could not confirm anything as he was yet to receive a report from the area as it was a Sunday.

It has been learnt that yesterday, a public meeting was held at Lailapur in Cachar district, just across the Mizoram border, by S. Ahmed, while on a stock-taking tour of the border areas. Apparently, the associationís leaders persuaded the minister to visit the gateway to Mizoram. However, whether he was part of the cavalcade was not known.

The local residents said a pilot of about 20 motorbikes had led the way last evening.

While no information is available from the Mizoram government side, sources in Lailapur told this correspondent that the minister had told them that the deputy commissioners of the adjoining districts, Kolosib and Cachar, were scheduled to meet on Friday in which they would discuss the demands of the studentsí association. He told the people at the public meeting to wait till then before taking any decision.


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