Fresh tensions erupted between Assam and Mizoram following an explosion in a border district on Saturday afternoon, PTI reported. An official of the Mizoram Police was arrested after the blast in Assam’s Hailakandi district.
The attack took place three months after violence erupted along the 164.6-km-long border shared by the two states. Five Assam police officers were killed in the clash.
On August 5, Assam and Mizoram had signed a joint declaration to find a lasting solution to the border conflict.
Around 1.30 pm on Saturday, the blast took place near the Baicherra outpost of Assam Police, Hailakandi Superintendent of Police Gaurav Upadhyay told PTI.
“Our outpost was on a hillock and the blast took place just below it,” Upadhyay said. “After the explosion, we immediately cordoned off the area with the help of neutral central forces and started an investigation.”
The police arrested Laldintluanga, an official of the Indian Reserve Battalion jawan of Mizoram. He was found near the blast site and could not give “satisfactory replies” when the police questioned him, Upadhyay said.
A case has been registered against Laldintluanga at the local Ramnathpur police station, India Today reported.
The police superintendent also pointed out that the blast took place just two days after Assam objected to construction of a bridge in the Kachurthal area by Mizoram, which Upadhyay claimed falls under the jurisdiction of the Ramnathpur police station.
The bridge had led to a conflict between the two states in August as well. The Mizoram Police had filed a case against Assam Police officials for allegedly stealing building material from the project site, while Assam had claimed that the bridge was being built in its territory.
On Saturday, Upadhyay claimed that construction of the bridge had been stopped after Assam objected and the Centre intervened in the matter. However, on October 26, Mizoram started construction again, Upadhyay said, according to PTI.
Assam-Mizoram border conflict
The violence in July erupted after the Mizoram government claimed that around 200 Assam Police personnel had crossed a duty post manned by the Central Reserve Police Force and the state police in Vairengte town of Kolasib district.
Following the rising tension between the two states, Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke with Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga to arrive at a peaceful resolution of the dispute.
The boundary between Assam and Mizoram is disputed at several points. The two states have often sparred over it, sometimes violently. Several rounds of dialogue at various levels since 1994 have failed to resolve the disagreement.