Situation on Assam-Mizoram disputed site being brought to normal, DG CRPF calls meet

DN Bureau

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is trying to bring back normalcy on the Assam-Mizoram disputed site where six Assam Police personnel lost their lives after an exchange of fire.

Incident site
Incident site

New Delhi: The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is trying to bring back normalcy on the Assam-Mizoram disputed site where six Assam Police personnel lost their lives after an exchange of fire.

CRPF Director General Kuldiep Singh will chair an internal meeting with senior officials of the 3.5 lakh strong force to plan a strategy to maintain peace as well as law and order on the disputed site, said sources.

The issue will be discussed in detail in the one-and-half hour meeting which will begin at the CRPF headquarters, said the source.

ADG SN Ojha told ANI that the situation is being brought to normal at the site.

A quick intervention of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and timely action of the CRPF averted a major escalation after Assam and Mizoram police forces opened fire at each other following a dispute at the border on Monday.

However, by that time, six Policemen of Assam had lost their lives in the fierce gun battle between the police forces of the two states.

It was between 4 pm and 4.30 pm on Monday when two companies of CRPF-- one from 119 Battalion in Assam and the other from 225 Battalion in Mizoram-- took command to control the crisis following orders from its Director General Kuldiep Singh who got orders from Home Secretary under the direct supervision of Home Minister Shah.

"Luckily the two CRPF companies were deployed at Lailapur-Vairengte disputed site between Assam and Mizoram and were assisting the police forces of other two states respectively in a neutral way in maintaining peace and law and order," CRPF ADG SR Ojha told ANI on Monday.

Recalling the sequence of the event, Ojha said both the CRPF companies from these two separate Battalions were already present along with the police forces of Assam and Mizoram but they were neutral and we're not taking sides of any one of them when both sides started firing on each other.

"Mizo police was on height and Assam Police was on the plain. Matter triggered violence suddenly and automatic weapons were firing from both sides after a few rounds of fire from tear gas shells leading to the death of six Assam policemen," Ojha said in a telephonic conversation with ANI.

Our CRPF companies informed DIG Silchar Shahnawaz about the incident who in turn approached DG CRPF through senior hierarchy, Ojha continued, mentioning "DG CRPF gave a detailed briefing to the Home Secretary (Ajay Bhalla) and the matter was later apprised to the Home Minister".

"CRPF was directed to take control of the situation and simultaneously, Home Minister spoke with both Assam and Mizoram CMs who agreed to return back their police forces from the site," Ojha said.

"Over 300-400 locals were gathered at the spot and the situation got tensed due to firing which led to the death of six Assam Policemen. But our CRPF companies managed to maintain peace at the spot. Locals returned back to their homes as well both Mizoram and Assam Police," he informed.

CRPF has sought the support of reinforcement teams and our aim is to maintain peace and law and order, said the CRPF ADG, adding "we are convincing both sides, including police forces and locals".

A war of words ensued between Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga and his counterpart from the neighbouring state Himanta Biswa Sarma after the clash which led the Home Minister to intervene.

The incident took place after Shah returned from Meghalaya by completing his two-day visit to the region during the weekend where he held a closed-door meeting with chief ministers of the northeast states.

A clipping shared by Zoramthanga on Twitter showed police trying to stop a clash among men armed with sticks.

In reply to the tweet, Assam Police said miscreants from Mizoram were indulging in stone-pelting and attacking Assam government officials stationed at Lailapur to protect Assam's land from encroachment.

In reply, Sarma shared a clipping and said a superintendent of police from Mizoram was asking Assam's officials to withdraw from their post, failing which civilians from the neighbouring state would not stop the violence. He too sought immediate intervention of Shah and the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

"How can we run a government in such circumstances?" Sarma wrote.(ANI)

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