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Border incident politically motivated: State Govt


GUWAHATI, March 13 - The State government today claimed that the turmoil created along the Assam-Mizoram border in Hailakandi district following attempts by a Mizo organization to set up a rest house in Assam territory was �politically motivated�, and said the situation is being closely monitored.

Speaking on behalf of the Home Minister at the State Assembly today, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said the government wants peace and brotherhood among the neighbouring states and at the same time it is committed to protect its territory.

�There are elements who are trying to create tension along the border. But the government is alert to the safety and security of its people living along the border areas. The situation is being monitored closely,� he said, responding to a zero hour notice brought on the issue by MLAs Suzam Uddin Laskar, Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha and Opposition leader Debabrata Saikia.

Laskar and Purkayastha claimed that following the incident, Assamese people living in Mizoram have been living in fear apprehending a repercussion and are not venturing out of their homes. They suggested holding of talks to hammer out a permanent solution to the border dispute and sending of an all-party delegation to the affected areas.

Patowary ruled out sending any all-party delegation insisting that it might further escalate the tension. �We are not sure how the Mizoram government will react if we send an all-party team. It might heighten the tension. Our priority is to secure our land and restore peace in the area,� he said.

Patowary also informed about the meetings held between the administrations of Hailakandi and Mizoram�s Kolasib districts and the telephonic conversations between both the Chief Ministers and Chief Secretaries in a bid to restore normalcy.

�Yesterday, a Mizoram delegation led by two MLAs also had a discussion with the officials of Assam at a border observation post. The Mizoram delegation assured to maintain status quo along the border, but they also alleged that Assam has been violating the agreement. However, sufficient forces have been stationed in the sensitive areas and the situation is being closely monitored,� Patowary said.

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