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Rest house triggers tension

Aizawl, June 12: The Mizo Zirlai Pawl’s plan to build a Mizo rest house at Borapansury within the Chakma autonomous district council in southern Mizoram has triggered communal tension.

The MZP, an apex student organisation, has decided to go ahead with its plan to construct the Zofate Chawlhbuk or Mizo rest house from June 25 despite stiff opposition from Chakma organisations, which had even boycotted the June 4 byelection to Borapansury-II MDC (member of district council) seat in protest against the allotment of government land within the Chakma area to the MZP.

An MZP release hoped there would be “no obstruction” in construction of the rest house, land for which has been legally allocated to the MZP by the food, civil supplies and consumer affairs department. “It has been decided that work will commence from June 25,” it added.

The MZP said the byelection boycott was “disregard for and violation of democracy” and criticised local legislator and minister B.D. Chakma for taking part in the protest.

It warned that if Chakmas do not allow construction of a Mizo rest house within the Chakma ADC on communal grounds, the MZP would take offence over the construction of Chakma House in Aizawl and the Chakma rest house in Lunglei district headquarters.

Sources said the MZP has been alleging Chakma infiltration in the area from Bangladesh and has felt a strong need to construct a rest house in the Chakma-dominated area to assert ownership of Mizoram territory.

MZP president Lalhmachhuana alleged that the Chakma population had abnormally increased in the Lunglei and Lawngtlai districts of southern Mizoram, both of which border Bangladesh, in the last few years, indicating largescale influx of Chakmas.

“We will take steps to drive out Chakma foreigners from Mizoram. We will pursue the matter with the Prime Minister’s office, as we have high hopes on Narendra Modi who had promised to drive out Bangladeshi migrants from the Northeast,” he added.

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