New Delhi: The Assam government will petition the Supreme Court to protect the Inner line Forest Reserve from destruction and encroachment, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Tuesday (July 27), a day after border clashes with Mizoram killed five state police officers and a civilian and injured 60 others. “We will petition the Supreme Court to defend the forests,” he stated.
During a news conference in Silchar, the Assam Chief Minister stated that satellite photographs reveal roads being built and forests being cleared for jhum farming, which is not permitted. He argued that the disagreement with Mizoram is not about land, but about encroachment on restricted forests. “We have no settlements in the forest regions, and if Mizoram can provide evidence, we will carry out evictions quickly,” CM Sarma stated. The chief minister insisted that the neighboring state would not be able to intrude on Assam’s territory.
“People have given their lives, but the boundary has been defended, and we will continue to do so at any cost,” he said.
Jhum cultivation is an agricultural practice in which farmland is cleared of trees and other plants before being burned. The practice is followed in the majority of northeastern states.
After the vexing border conflict exploded into bloody violence between security officials and citizens from the two states on Monday, the Centre ordered them to withdraw their forces from the border post.
“We have done so, but Mizoram has not. Our police officers, on the other hand, are stationed 100 metres away from the position “Sarma stated.
He stated that the Assam government will deploy three commando battalions in the Mizoram border districts of Cachar, Karimganj, and Hailakandi to boost security.