A school in Assam’s Hailakandi district was damaged on Friday night after two bomb blasts took place near the state’s border with Mizoram, The Indian Express reported, citing the police.
A part of lower primary Sahebmara LP School in the Sahebcherra area was damaged in the blast. This was the second such incident in the area this year. In February, unidentified miscreants had bombed Muliwala Lower Primary School.
The latest incident came weeks after five Assam police officers were killed on July 26 as tensions escalated along the state’s border with Mizoram. Assam and Mizoram share a 164.6-km-long border, which has long been a cause of dispute. Several rounds of dialogue since 1994 have failed to resolve the disagreement.
Hailakandi’s Superintendent of Police Gaurav Upadhyay alleged the school in the district was damaged by miscreants from Mizoram, reported the Hindustan Times.
“The area comes under Ghutghuti police outpost and we have raised the security immediately after the incident,” Upadhyay said. “We are trying to ensure that this incident does not create fear among the residents in the locality. We are also investigating the matter and once it is completed, we’ll be able to give a clearer picture.”
Upadhyay added that a commandant rank officer, the officer-in-charge of the local police station, additional superintendent of police and armed police were sent to take stock of the situation.
Vanlalfaka Ralte, superintendent of police of Kolasib district, that shares the border with Hailakandi, dismissed allegations that the miscreants belonged to Mizoram.
“The place of bomb blasts is not a disputed area,” Ralte said. “It is [an] Assam area with clear boundary [Tlawng river]. These days as Assam Police are on patrolling duty in the area no Mizo from Bairabi town have entered to the area of bomb blast.”
Ralte claimed that people from Assam were responsible for the bombing. He added that the neighboring state was trying to defame Mizoram.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said he will write to his Mizoram counterpart and seek an investigation into the blast. He added that since the blast took place within Assam, the state police will also conduct an inquiry.
Mizoram’s Chief Secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo said that the allegation needs to be verified and investigated. “Those responsible for such cowardly act do not deserve any sympathy,” he added.
Assam-Mizoram border clashes
While no casualties were suffered by Mizoram last month during the clashes, the state government claimed that around 200 Assam Police personnel had crossed a duty post manned by the Central Reserve Police Force and state police in Vairengte town of Mizoram’s Kolasib district.
On August 5, Assam and Mizoram signed a joint declaration “to remove tensions prevailing around the inter-state borders and to find lasting solutions”. Both the sides agreed to the deployment of “neutral forces” in the conflict areas.