National Highway 306’s blockade on the Assam-Mizoram border entered the fourth day today, starving the latter of essential supplies, even though Central intervention had eased tensions between the two northeastern states last week.
Locals on the Assam side are not allowing trucks carrying goods to enter Mizoram. They want that state to withdraw its security forces posted at the border; the Mizoram government has simply refused to oblige, accusing officials of the Assam government of instigating the fresh blockade. Mizoram claims it is protecting its historical boundary.
Social media photos showing Mizoram’s security forces digging up trenches and building bunkers along the border are not helping the matter in any way.
The issue took a turn for the worse on Friday after the Mizoram government announced that it won’t be withdrawing its security personnel.
Agitators in southern Assam, too, refused to call off their blockade, now in its fourth day, till Mizoram withdraws its security personnel.
An Assam government release said that Environment and Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya had visited the troubled areas along the inter-state border to allay locals’ fears. He urged them not to panic, saying the government was making all efforts to resolve the dispute.
Festering since October 9, the situation along the 164.6-km Assam-Mizoram border took an ugly turn on October 17 with around 20 shops and houses being burnt and over 50 people injured in clashes.
The Union Home Ministry has been trying to solve the dispute, but with little success.