New Delhi, Jul 27 (EFE).- A clash between police officers from India’s northeastern states of Assam and Mizoram, in which at least five police officers were killed and dozens injured, on Tuesday triggered high levels of tension between the two neighboring provinces that are involved in a long-standing border dispute.
The chief ministers of Assam and Mizoram have blamed each other’s governments for the clashes, which took place on Monday near the town of Vairengte.
“We are deeply anguished by the loss of lives of our brave @assampolice personnel,” Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted along with the video of a ceremony to honor five members of the state police who were killed in the clashes. Around 50 officers were injured.
Sarma alleged that “personnel of Mizoram Police acted and escalated the issue” amid heightened tensions in the area after Mizoram authorities alleged last month that Assam police had captured a border post in their territory.
“This is not a political issue, this is a boundary dispute between two states (…) a long-standing border dispute,” the Assam CM said in a press conference.
His counterpart from Mizoram, Zoramthanga, alleged in a tweet that “2 companies of Assam Police with civilians lathicharged & tear gassed civilians at Vairengte Auto Rickshaw stand inside Mizoram.”
Zoramthanga shared a series of videos on social networks and claimed that the Assam forces had opened fire and attacked civilians and tourists.
Both the provincial heads have demanded the intervention of Home Minister Amit Shah, who had recently met them to try and resolve the territorial dispute.
Mizoram, which shares a border with Myanmar, was part of Assam until being declared a federally administered territory in 1972 and eventually a state in 1987.
Since then, the two states have been involved in disputes over many border areas, in a region marked by the presence of armed rebels and ethnic conflicts. EFE