Silchar– Chief Secretary, Assam, Jishnu Barua and Director General of Police, Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta reviewed the overall law and order situation in Barak Valley here on Wednesday.
Reviewing the law and order situation of southern Assam’s Barak Valley in view of the prevailing situation along the inter state border with Mizoram with the Deputy Commissioners, SPs, DIG southern range, IGP, DFOs and other officials at the Deputy Commissioner’s conference hall, Chief Secretary Barua and DGP Mahanta explored all the options available for solution of the border imbroglio amicably and peacefully.
The Chief Secretary directed all the Deputy Commissioners and SPs to maintain constant vigil all along the inter state border at Lailapur and Medlicherra bordering Cachar and Karimganj districts to thwart the sinister design of certain forces out to disturb peace and tranquility.
The Deputy Commissioners and SPs presented detailed report on the law and order situation on the border front and the slew of security measures being taken.
The meeting lasted for one and a half hours.
Later, talking to media persons, Chief Secretary Barua said that at the instruction of the Chief Minister, he and DGP had come here to assess the law and order situation and to meet the kith of the bereaved family who died at the hands of miscreants on the other side of the border.
He said a cheque amounting to Rs 5 lakh as ex gratia was handed over to the kith of the bereaved family and above all a condolence message was also read out.
Expressing profound grief over the death of a person from Lailapur at the hands of miscreants on the other side of the border, Barua said, “I am concerned about the fact that a very innocent life being snatched away possibly by the handiwork of miscreants. So, we would like to have a detailed inquiry into it.”
Barua disclosed that Central forces are arriving in the state in a day or two and they would be deployed along the inter state border with Mizoram in Assam’s Cachar and Karimganj districts.
“A notification for Central forces is out and as and when the forces come, they would be deployed along the border areas in Cachar and Karimganj districts. When the forces come, there will be peace on both sides (of the border).”
Barua, who has come here on his maiden visit just after becoming the Chief Secretary, made an impassioned plea to everyone to display restraint and patience and to maintain peace at all costs.
Barua said the stare government is taking all possible steps from the Chief Minister level, Home Secretary level, Chief Secretary level and district administration level and through other channels involving important leaders for finding a peaceful solution to the current imbroglio.
“The State Government has taken up the issue with all seriousness and that is why, myself and DGP have come here and that being with the people and with the district authorities,” he said.
“All possible steps should be taken to find a peaceful solution and steps are being taken in that direction. Peace is of paramount importance as you are aware it is an inter state issue…between two different communities and there’s no question of not doing it other than through peaceful means.
There’s no point in escalating tension…no point in increasing our own problems. We have to work within the four walls of the law,” he said.
Replying to a query, the Chief Secretary said the Government of Assam is ‘absolutely clear’ as to the constitutional boundary of Assam and that is clearly defined by the Mizoram Act of 1986 when Mizoram was carved out of Assam.
“We are absolutely clear as to our constitutional boundary is. And that is clearly defined by the Mizoram Act of 1986 when Mizoram was created. No one had any doubts as to what was the constitutional boundary. Our official stand is that the constitutional boundary of Assam is sacrosanct and we will stick to that.”
In the same breathe, the Chief Secretary said certain elements, some non State players are playing a major part in stoking the fire of differences and disputes.
Barua said without enlarging on the issue vis-a-vis as to the constitutional boundary could have been something else, but so long as the constitutional boundary as per the record and as passed by the Parliament, it should remain as such.
The Chief Secretary said there are various ways through which boundaries can be altered by following Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution. “These measures under Articles 2 and 3 need to be taken in case the boundaries have to be altered,” he said, adding, “Till that time what constitutes the constitutional boundary of Assam there is no doubt about that.”
Replying to a query, Barua termed the prevailing situation on the border front as both a law and order issue as well as a border dispute arising out of claims by Mizoram.
Barua revealed the talks are on by senior officials of Government of Mizoram with some members of civil societies and by evening the outcome will be known. “If the outcome is positive following the discussion, we will find out a solution soon,” he added.
The Deputy Commissioners and SPs of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi, DIG, Southern Range, IGP, DFOs and other senior officials were present during the press briefing.