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    Mizoram occupying 1.5 km of Assam area: Forest Minister Suklabaidya

    Earlier, Cachar DFO while visiting the Kulichara inner line reserve forest area was restricted by Mizo security forces

    GUWAHATI: Assam forest minister Parimal Suklabaidya on Thursday said that Mizoram forces have been continuously and illegally occupying Assam land despite the state government has been requesting them to move back.

    Tension along the Assam-Mizoram borders of Cachar and Karimganj district as Mizo forces have been occupying forest lands for over three weeks now. Though initially, the Mizo forces had set up temporary camps inside Assam’s territory saying it to be Covid19 screening camps, later denied leaving triggering tension.

    Reacting to the situation, Suklabaidya said, “We encourage Mizoram to develop its agriculture but they should do it on their own soil. Even today their people are occupying 1.5 km of our land near the state border. We’ve been requesting them to go back.”

    Earlier, Cachar DFO said that Mizoram forces had entered almost three kilometers inside Assam territory and claiming it to be under them. Last month, the Cachar Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Sunny Deo Choudhury while visiting the Kulichara inner line reserve forest area was restricted by Mizo security forces.

    “The inner line reserve forest area covering around 100 hectares of forest land falls under the Cachar forest division and we have been patrolling the area for ages. There are also around 60 forest dwellers families living inside the forest area. But the Mizoram forces who had initially set up a makeshift camp in the name of Covid 19 checking are now claiming the area and trying to obstruct us from our duties. Higher authorities from both the sides have been informed and the forest department has planned to set up a camp in the border area too,” Choudhury had said.

    Though the Assam government has repeatedly asked the Mizoram government to go back, Mizoram home minister Lalchamliana said that the Mizoram government would not withdraw its forces as it’s protecting its boundary notified as per the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR) of 1873.

    With no negotiation between the two states reached, Central armed forces have been moved and reached Silchar on Thursday. Sources said they would be deployed along the Assam-Mizoram bordering areas of Lailapur and Medlichara in Cachar and Karimganj district respectively.

    Meanwhile, an economic blockade staged by the locals against Mizoram forces’ aggression entered the ninth day forcing hundreds of Mizoram-bound trucks to remain stranded.

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