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Withdrawal of Assam Rifies


>From Deepak Tiwari

Aizwal,Nov  30(PTI):  The Mizoram government has sought the
withdrawal  of Assam Rifies from the border with Myanmar to
help  curb the smuggling of drugs and arms from that route.

'Mizoram's  border with  Myanmar is  very porous  since the
Assam  Rifies guarding it  has outlived its  utility in the
region,  state chief minister Lal Thanhawla told a visiting
group of journalists from Delhi recently.

Stressing  the need for sealing the border.  He said it had
become an 'easy passage' for the country.

He  suggested 'phasewise' withdrawal of the Assam Rifies to
be   replaced   by   'some   other   para-military  force'.

Thanhawla said Mizoram which became state in 1987 following
the  'Mizo  Accord' between  government  of India  and Mizo
National  Front,  had only three battalions of armed police
to  tackle  the problems  created  by internal  as  well as
outside elements.

The  chief minister said there was considerable shortage of
police force in the state.

Thanbawla  said his government had taken up the matter with
the  union home ministry several times and demanded sealing
the international border.

Intelligence reports suggested that drugs smuggled from the
'Golden  Triangle'  region,  comprising  Myanmar,  Lao  and
Thailand   were  being  used   by  militants  raise  funds.

The  state  was  also  being used  as  a  transit  point by
Cambodian terrorist group,  khmer Rouge,  to supply arms to
Ulfa  the chief secretary of Assam, VS Jafa, said recently.

Mizoarm,   once  a district  of  Assam,  at  present  has a
literacy  rate of 82 percent and  is second only to Kerala.
Divided into three districts, it has a population of nearly
seven Lakh, mostly tribal.

The News from the telegraph newspaper

News and Information Bureau, All Burma Students League

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