At least 20 people were injured after police baton charged them in the Assam-Mizoram border town of Bairabi on Thursday, NorthEast Now reported. Police resorted to baton charging members of the Mizo Zirlai Pawl, a student organisation, after they attempted to rebuild a rest house in a disputed area.
About 70 students, who volunteered to reconstruct the rest house, had reached the site on Thursday. Following this, the administration deployed 500 personnel of the Assam Police in the area, and imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which prohibits an assembly of more than four persons.
Lalrothangi, the late wife of Mizoram’s first chief minister Ch Chhunga, had donated a paddy field to the Mizo Zirlai Pawl, and the students built a rest house for the farmers working in the area. The rest house was completed on February 27, but was then demolished by police officials.
“Until and unless we rebuild the rest shed, we will camp here in this land which is belonged to us,” Mizo Zirlai Pawl President L Ramdinliana Renthlei said. “All land revenues and taxes levied from this area are being paid to the Mizoram government, which has validated that it belongs to Mizoram. We are not going home until the rest shed is rebuilt or until the Mizoram government and Assam government hold discussions.”
Mizoram Home Minister Pu Lalzirliana appealed to the leaders of the student organisation not to reconstruct the rest house, as it could lead to the law and order situation deteriorating further, the news website reported.