Tension on Assam, border of Mizoram after the presumed death of a man in detention


An Assam police official alleged it was a “clear case of death in custody”. (Representative)

Guwahati / Aizawl:

A man from Assam’s Cachar district died in custody in Mizoram on Monday, escalating tension between the two northeastern states amid a border standoff.

Mizoram Kolasib District Police Superintendent Vanlalfaka Ralte told PTI that Intazul Laskar (45), a well-known drug dealer, was apprehended on Sunday evening as he crossed the interstate border to deliver a shipment and later died in a health facility.

However, an Assam police official said he disappeared from a forest area where he went to collect firewood and a case was filed at Dholai Police Station.

“This morning we received confirmation from the Kolasib district police in Mizoram that he was in their custody. However, in the afternoon we were told he had expired,” said the responsible.

Mr Ralte claimed that Intazul traveled to Vairengte to deliver a consignment of drugs when he was apprehended by volunteers from the Young Mizo Association (YMA) and handed over to State Department of Excise officials and narcotics that stopped him.

He sustained minor ankle injuries as he tried to flee the volunteers, the officer said.

He was admitted to the Vairengte community health center because the authorities found him to be physically weak, Mr Ralte said.

He died at 10:20 a.m. on Monday, a Mizoram official said.

The Assam police chief pointed the finger at Mizoram about the incident and alleged that it was a “clear case of death in custody”.

“Mizoram police have let us know that they are proceeding in accordance with NHRC guidelines for death in custody,” he said.

The Mizoram police officer claimed that no one had put a hand on him at the time of his arrest and that the incident had no connection with the current situation at the border.

He was listed under relevant articles of the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985 after his arrest, another Mizoram official said.

Later, a case of unnatural death was recorded at the Vairengte police station, he said.

Cachar SP Bhanwar Lal Meena wrote to Mr. Ralte urging him to investigate the matter.

When contacted, Meena declined to comment on the incident, but said: “Our goal is to maintain law and order. We have stepped up our vigilance in the region.”

The liaison officer for the Mizoram House in Silchar in Cachar, Saizikpuii, said she had called on the Mizos living in the Barak Valley town to take shelter at the house as a “precautionary measure”.

“Already, 11 tankers and six LPG trucks stranded in Silchar due to the roadblock are sheltering at Mizoram House. The Cachar District Administration provided three additional CRPF members and six Assam police officers in addition to the four existing CRPFs. jawans, ”she says.

Tension has reigned along the border since October 17 after criminals allegedly damaged 18 temporary huts and three semi-urban dwellings, following which several rounds of talks took place between officials in Assam, Mizoram and central government.

The blockade on National Highway 306, the lifeline of the Mizoram, entered the sixth day Monday amid the tension, crippling the supply of basic goods, officials told Aizawl.


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