Assam-Mizoram border clash tatters BJP’s unity bid in Northeast

The Assam-Mizoram police clash was the first major test for Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma after he took over the reins of the state in May this year | Image - Eunice Dhivya

Armed personnel in olive-green fatigue from Mizoram Police’s India Reserve Battalion took position on a hilltop in Vairengte on Monday evening. Their location was not very far from Indian Army’s Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School.

Only that this time the men in uniform were not there for any guerrilla warfare training. They were there for real combat.

“Paanch minute time deta hai, chala jao (Leave the place within five minutes or face the consequence,” one of the armed personnel shouted in a colloquial Hindi, training his gun on a group gathered on the foothills near Lailapur.

What followed next horrified the nation and made news headlines across the country. Six people were left dead and 41 others wounded in a rare incident of police personnel of an Indian state opening fire on their counterparts from a neighbouring state over a boundary dispute. Five of the dead were policemen from Assam. Among the wounded was superintendent of police of Assam’s Cachar district.

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