GUWAHATI: A school on the Assam-Mizoram border was blown up, allegedly by the miscreants from Mizoram on Friday night.
The attack, carried out on the Upper Painom LP School in Assam's Cachar district, comes amidst a bitter border dispute between the two states. This is the second such attack by the miscreants on a Cachar school.
Senior officials of Cachar's civil administration and the police rushed to the site on Saturday morning to take stock of the situation. The Assam government claimed the miscreants had come from Mizoram.
"We are making all efforts to normalise the situation but the miscreants from Mizoram triggered a blast at the school in a forest area. Given the situation, we are strengthening our forces to avoid such incidents in the future," Assam's Home Secretary GD Tripathi told The New Indian Express.
He said the miscreants sometimes come from across the inter-state border to carry out such attacks on Assam schools that are located in forests. "We have to suitably tighten our security," Tripathi said.
As the standoff continues, Central forces are being deployed to the disputed sites of the border in both states. Tripathi said Assam had already made the deployment of Sashastra Seema Bal personnel.
"We are also in touch with the Mizoram government and the Central government towards diffusing the tension," he added.
Mizoram Chief Secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo said the state government was monitoring the situation.
"Things should be okay. We are having our internal meeting today (Saturday). The Central forces are at our disposal and the process of their deployment is on. They just arrived," he said.
Mizoram is deploying personnel of the Border Security Force. The dispute had flared up last month when at least eight people from both sides were injured and several houses and roadside shops torched.
Assam's Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya had on Thursday claimed Mizoram was occupying 1.5 km of Assam land.
Meanwhile, a 12-hour Barak bandh on Saturday was called by an Assam students' organisation in protest against the recent custodial death of a man from Cachar's Lailapur in Mizoram. Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi districts form the Barak Valley.
Intaz Ali (40) had died under mysterious circumstances on Monday. The Mizoram government had claimed he was a drug peddler who died at a hospital. But the Assam government claimed the man was abducted by the miscreants from the border. It had sought a probe by the NIA (National Investigation Agency) into the incident.