Assam govt to move Supreme Court for protection of reserve forest and border areas
Speaking to reporters in Cachar on Tuesday, Sarma informed, "We have decided to move the Supreme Court seeking protection of Innerline Forest Reserve from encroachment. The Satellite images show the construction of roads and Jhum cultivation by clearing forests.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday announced that his government will file a suit in the Supreme Court seeking protection of Innerline Forest Reserve from destruction and encroachment.
The development comes a day after border clashes between Assam and Mizoram left five Assam policemen dead and several others injured.
Speaking to reporters in Cachar on Tuesday, Sarma informed, "We have decided to move the Supreme Court seeking protection of Innerline Forest Reserve from encroachment. The Satellite images show the construction of roads and Jhum cultivation by clearing forests."
He further said, "The dispute between Assam and Mizoram is not about land, but about the encroachment of reserve forests. There can't be any settlement in reserve forests. Hence, we want our land and forest areas to be protected."
The Chief Minister pointed to Assam lands being encroached upon, and unless and until the centre and the apex court intervene in the matter, there can be no resolution.
Sarma informed that for the past five months, the Assam Police is involved in thwarting people from the Mizoram side, who have over time tried to encroach lands under the territorial jurisdiction of Assam
"We should maintain status quo along the border areas. I have already discussed the same with Mizoram chief minister," CM Sarma said, adding that inter-state boundaries are integral to a state and must not be trespassed.
Speaking about the Assam police personnel killed during the border clash, Sarma maintained that Mizoram opened fire with light machine guns (LMGs) for about 30 to 35 minutes which resulted in the death of the police officials.
Sarma argued that even if the entire Cachar district was occupied by Mizoram, Assam police would not have resorted to gunshots.
Keeping in mind frequent skirmish along the border areas, Sharma announced that the Assam government will raise three commando battalions for Karimganj, Cachar and Hailakandi, for which additional 3000 personnel will be recruited to maintain key border areas.
Meanwhile to prevent further escalation and to resolve the issue at the earliest, Union Home Ministry has called for a DGP-Chief Secretary level meeting between Assam and Mizoram on July 28 in New Delhi.
(Edited by Shankar Kumar Turha)
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