New Delhi: 

Underlining that Assam wants to keep the spirit of north east alive and taking forward the “goodwill gesture” by Mizoram, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma late on Sunday directed state police to withdraw FIR against Mizo National Front Rajya Sabha MP K Vanlalvena in connection with the July 26 border clashes that left six police personnel dead.

However, the Assam Chief Minister added that cases against the other police officers will be pursued.

“To take this goodwill gesture ahead, I have directed Assam Police to withdraw FIR against K Vanlalvena, Hon’ble MP, Rajya Sabha from Mizoram. However, cases against other accused police officers will be pursued (sic),” he added.

The development follows Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga’s Sunday statement that the boundary dispute with Assam will be resolved amicably through dialogue. The Mizoram Chief Minister held a telephonic discussion with Home Minister Amit Shah and his counterpart Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. He has appealed to the people of Mizoram to prevent any possible escalation of the situation.

The dropping of FIR against Mr Sarma was part of the move.

The centre has told both the states that their officers and forces will not be allowed to carry arms while visiting the conflict zone along the border between Mizoram’s Kolasib and Assam’s Cachar districts.

The central government has also asked the two states to restore movement of emergency and essential supplies as part of the de-escalation plan, sources told NDTV.

“Our main focus is on keeping the spirit of North-East alive,” Mr Sarma tweeted hours after the telephonic conversation on Sunday, insisting that border disputes can only be resolved through discussion.

Earlier, Assam had issued a travel advisory asking people from the state not to go to Mizoram as their safety cannot be guaranteed. It also said all vehicles entering the state from Mizoram will be checked for “illlicit drugs”.

Responding to travel advisory, Mr Zoramthanga said north east India will always be one and said there will be no restrictions on non-residents of Mizoram traveling through the state’s Kolasib district, which borders Assam’s Cachar district.

Assam and Mizoram have been engaged in a delicate border stand-off after seven people, including six Assam Police personnel, were killed and scores injured in a gunfight between the police forces of the two states along the inter-state border on July 26.

The two states have been at odds over the boundary for decades, but Monday’s clashes flared up over an alleged construction by Mizoram in the disputed 198-square-mile stretch on the inter-state border — Lailapur under Dhalai of Cachar district in southern Assam and Vairengte in Kolasib district of northern Mizoram.



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