Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Imagine PDRM in Kelantan and Terengganu "shooting at each"


Assam-Mizoram clash: Why are Indian policemen firing at each other?

Assam shares a 164 km-long border with Mizoram

At least five policemen in India have died after police from two states fired at each other.

The unusual incident happened along the border between Assam and Mizoram states in north-eastern India.

Officials from both sides, including chief ministers, have accused each other of provoking violence.

The firing incident follows months of simmering tensions over a long-running border dispute between the two states.

Assam shares a 164km (about 101 miles) border with Mizoram, and both states contest its demarcation.

The two sides have often sparred over it, sometimes violently. But this was the first time police in the states had fired at each other in a direct confrontation. The officers killed in the attack were from Assam.

The federal government has been trying to mediate a truce between the states since 1994 but has failed to achieve a breakthrough.

On Monday, Home Minister Amit Shah reportedly spoke to the chief ministers of Assam and Mizoram - Himanta Biswa Sarma and Zoramthanga - and urged them to ensure peace along the disputed border by finding an "amicable solution" to the problem.

So, what is the problem?

Mizoram and Assam, along with five other states, are in the north-east region of India, which runs from the snow-clad Himalayas just below Tibet to the plains of Bangladesh, and borders the jungles of Myanmar (Burma) to the east.

Under colonial rule, Lushai Hills, as Mizoram was then known, was part of Assam. The region only gained recognition in 1972 - almost three decades after India's independence - when it became a separate federally administered area. In 1987, it became a fully-fledged state.

Three districts in Assam - Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj - share a 164km-long border with three districts of Mizoram.

Mizoram was carved out of Assam in 1972

The forested area is contested at several points, with both Assam and Mizoram accusing each other of encroaching on their land.

The first row broke out in 1994, leading to several rounds of talks that were brokered by the federal government. But sporadic clashes have continued.

Tensions escalated to an unprecedented level in October 2020 when residents of Assam and Mizoram clashed twice in a week. At least eight people were injured as angry residents torched huts and small shops on both sides.

At the heart of the matter was an "eviction drive" carried out by Assam along a contested part of the border - authorities from the state reportedly burned a farmhouse and crops in the area. The Mizoram government responded by deploying troops in areas which Assam claims is part of its territory.

Residents from both states also blocked key highways, bringing all traffic to a halt for almost three weeks until the federal government intervened to defuse tensions.

What happened on Monday?

Tensions escalated after clashes erupted between police on either side of a contentious border point, Lailapur, according to local reports.

Assam's chief minister, Mr Sarma, announced on Twitter that members of the state police were killed by Mizoram forces "while defending the constitutional boundary".

Police in Assam also alleged that "miscreants" from Mizoram pelted them with stones and attacked its government officials.

kt note: Only Indian officials would use an archaic word like 'miscreant' 😁😁😁

But authorities in Mizoram denied this.

The state's home minister, Lalchamliana, said Mizoram policemen responded "spontaneously by firing back" at Assam police officials after they "forcibly crossed" a post manned by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

The federal government has deployed the CRPF as a "neutral force" at the disputed border.

Meanwhile, chief ministers Zoramthanga and Mr Sarma argued on Twitter, blaming each other for the violence and seeking the federal government's intervention.

Both chief ministers had attended a meeting chaired by Mr Shah in the city of Shillong on Saturday.



Indian state to deploy 4,000 commandos after 6 cops killed in border clash

GUWAHATI: India’s Assam state said today it will deploy 4,000 commandos to guard its border with a rival state after six police officers were killed in a gunbattle between the feuding neighbours.

More than 60 others were injured in the rare showdown yesterday on Assam’s border with Mizoram.

The two have been wrangling over their border for decades.

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told reporters at Silchar, near where the battle was fought, that the “new commando battalion” would be deployed along the border.

Tensions had been building between the two states since last month when Mizoram alleged that Assam had encroached on its territory.

Assam in turn accused Mizoram villagers of encroaching instead on reserve forest land.

Federal home minister Amit Shah has sought to defuse the row but a solution to the long-standing dispute did not appear imminent.

Sarma, who belongs to prime minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said his government will petition the Supreme Court to ensure “not an inch of reserve forest is encroached upon”.

Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga, who uses only one name, has accused Assam police of firing the first shots yesterday.

Zoramthanga heads the Mizo National Front, an ally of the national ruling alliance led by BJP.

He said Assam police had forcibly taken over a border post and assaulted unarmed civilians.

The ministers have staged rival social media campaigns, sharing videos showing civilians armed with batons clashing with police and other violence.

Mizoram was a part of Assam until 1972 when it was split up.

It became a state in its own right in 1986.

Mizoram says the area claimed by Assam has been used by its people for more than 100 years, but the Assamese insist that a large chunk of their land has been seized.

The far-flung and resource-rich northeastern region has been a hotbed of ethnic tensions since India’s independence in 1947.

Borders between the seven states in the region are not clearly demarcated and there are regular disputes over land and assets.

Deadly confrontations such as yesterday’s are rare however.

1 comment:

  1. Always pick on India to highlight bad news...
    Hidden agenda ?