Mizoram health minister R Lalthangliana claimed on Sunday that medical supplies, including Covid-19 test kits, were being blocked from entering the state from Assam due to the imposition of blockade in the Barak Valley region following the border dispute.
Assam, however, said that no organisation is currently staging any blockade in the state. Mizoram is currently battling the second wave of the pandemic and is one of the most affected states in the country.
Lalthangliana alleged that vehicles carrying COVID-19 related materials like test kits and medicines were stranded on NH-306 in Cachar district of Assam.
“As per our information, a state-sponsored economic blockade has been clamped in Assam. Vehicles carrying consignments of essential commodities and life-saving medicines are stranded in the Dholai-Lailapur area in Assam. We will approach the Centre again to take the initiative for resumption of movement of traffic,” Lalthangliana told PTI.
Seven people, including six Assam Police personnel, were killed and scores injured in an armed clash along the Mizoram-Assam border on July 26.
Meanwhile, Mizoram chief secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo said the state government has strong faith in the Centre and will send another letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) seeking its intervention for immediate resumption of traffic movement from Assam.
According to the chief secretary, about 95 per cent of essential supplies come to landlocked Mizoram through Assam via NH 306, which is the lifeline of the state.
The Mizoram Home Department had written to the Union Home Ministry twice in three days between July 28 and July 30 seeking its intervention to lift the alleged economic blockade clamped by people of Barak Valley, and restoration of railway tracks damaged by miscreants in at least three locations in Assam.
Kolasib Superintendent of Police (SP) Vanlalfaka said on Sunday that no vehicles, except those of security forces, have entered Mizoram from Assam since the boundary clash.
The police officer claimed said that there is no restriction on traffic movement on the Mizoram side and a handful of vehicles are entering Assam every day.
At least 70 vehicles left for Assam on Saturday, he said.
“We are making efforts to ensure that vehicles manned by non-tribals move freely to Assam. No resident of Mizoram is creating any problem as the people are convinced that it is not a communal issue but a border dispute between the two states,” he told PTI.
He said that there is no further escalation of the situation along the inter-state border as troopers of Central Armed Forces have been deployed and are patrolling the border areas.Mizoram Chemist and Druggist Association had recently written to the state chief secretary seeking the government’s intervention for resumption of supplies from Assam.
The association alleged that the Assam government under the guise of security concern had on July 29 verbally instructed all transporters in Guwahati not to book goods, including medicines, for transportation to Mizoram.
Even courier companies have been barred from booking letters and parcels, the letter alleged.
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