Aizawl, Aug 6: The unofficial economic blockade on National Highway-306, allegedly imposed by certain groups in Assam's Cachar district, entered its 12th day on Friday, a top official in Mizoram said.
Chief Secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo told reporters here that no vehicle has made its way to the state from Assam, despite the withdrawal of the travel advisory issued by the Himanta Biswa Sarma government. A festering border dispute between the two northeastern states had triggered a bloody conflict on July 26, leading to the death of seven people -- six Assam Police personnel and a civilian.
The Assam government had subsequently issued an advisory asking people to avoid travelling to Mizoram. It was revoked on Thursday following talks between the two sides. Chuaungo said the ruling dispensation in Mizoram is in constant touch with the Assam government, which has promised to take necessary steps for resumption of traffic movement via NH-306.
"It is unfortunate that no vehicle carrying goods or passengers is entering Mizoram from Assam, despite the withdrawal of the travel advisory. The government is in constant touch with the Centre and Assam. I have also spoken with the Assam chief secretary, who assured us that measures will be taken to clear the road," he said.
Officials in Mizoram alleged that railways tracks linked to the state were damaged in at least three places in Assam's Hailakandi district. The unofficial blockade has choked all supplies, including medical consignments and COVID-19 equipment, they added. Lalruatkima, the information and public relations minister in Mizoram, further said that more than 30 people, including non-tribals, are currently stranded in Silchar's Mizoram house due to the blockade.
Several Mizoram residents are also stuck in Guwahati, he said. Cachar SP Ramandeep Kaur, when contacted, told PTI over phone that the Assam government had been encouraging people to travel to Mizoram but many were reluctant "fearing backlash".
"Even before the withdrawal of the advisory, the government encouraged people to travel to Mizoram. It seems some of them are reluctant as they fear being attacked," she stated.
Kaur also said that two vehicles were vandalised by unidentified men somewhere between Silchar and Lailapur when they had tried to move towards Mizoram on Thursday. A probe has been launched into the incident, she added. The Mizoram and Assam governments had on Thursday agreed to find a lasting solution to the century-old boundary dispute and take measures, including resumption of interstate vehicular movement, to de-escalate tension between the two sides.
"Both the states have welcomed the deployment of neutral forces in the disputed areas and agreed not to send their respective police forces for patrolling, domination, enforcement or fresh deployment to any of the areas where confrontation and conflict have taken place between police forces of the two states in recent times," a joint statement issued by the two sides said.