Aizawl, July 28: The Mizoram government on Wednesday sought the Centre's intervention for the lifting of an "economic blockade" staged by the people of Barak Valley in Assam after a recent bloody clash along the inter-state border.
Seven people, including six Assam Police personnel, have been killed and over 50 people, including an SP, injured in a clash along the inter-state border on Monday. In a letter addressed to Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, Mizoram Home Secretary Lalbiaksangi said that National Highway 306, the state's lifeline that connects it with the rest of the country, has been blocked in Assam since July 26.
"The blockade is adversely affecting the livelihood of the people of Mizoram. Movement of vehicles along other routes connecting Mizoram and Assam has also been blocked inside Assam.
"It has also been reported that unknown miscreants from Assam have destroyed and removed railway tracks at Mohammedpur and Ramnathpur railway stations in Assam's Hailakandi district, the only railway line connecting Bairabi railway station in Mizoram's Kolasib district," the letter read.
Stating that national highways and railway lines are owned and managed by the central government, the letter stated that no state agency or entity or general public has the right to block them and restrict the movement of people and goods passing through national highways and railroads.
"In this regard, it is requested that the Government of India may kindly intervene and instruct the Government of Assam to take necessary action for the immediate removal of the blockade so as to ensure resumption of the movement of goods and passengers along the national highway and railway line," the letter said.
It mentioned that a "state-sponsored" economic blockade was earlier imposed by the people of Assam for nearly a month from October 17 to November 11 last year in the wake of a border standoff, which had seriously and adversely affected the livelihood of the people of Mizoram, resulting in various hardships.
"It is reported with serious concern that Assam has been indulging in the practice of imposing economic blockade merely because of the fact that the main supply routes i.e the national highways and railway lines are passing through the state. Incidents like this have occurred numerous times in the past in connection with other incidents," it said.
A 12-hour bandh called to protest the deaths of seven people has affected normal life in the Barak Valley districts of Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj. A senior police officer in Mizoram told PTI that the situation along the inter-state border has been peaceful now and both the state governments have deployed additional forces along the disputed boundary.