The Assam Rifles, which guards the India-Myanmar borders along four northeastern states, would further strengthen its vigil at the frontiers to curb smuggling of drugs and other border crimes, officials said on Thursday.An official of Mizoram Home Department said that Director General of Assam Rifles, Lieutenant General Sukhdeep Sangwan, has held a meeting with Mizoram Governor P.S. Sreedharan Pillai, Chief Minister Zoramthanga and Chief Secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo and discussed India-Myanmar border security issue.An Assam Rifles press release also that the para-military chief conveyed his proposal of focusing on the border areas by establishing more posts closer to the Mynamar border for which assistance of the state was sought in acquiring the land."The Assam Rifles DG assured the Governor, the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary that the force would ensure that Mizoram is free from drugs and illegal trade and that the central force would leave no stone unturned to preserve the Mizo community from the menace of drugs," the release said.Since July 1, Assam Rifles troopers have seized drugs and other contraband items worth around Rs 27 crore in Mizoram after these were smuggled from the neighbouring Myanmar.The mountainous state of Mizoram has an unfenced international border stretching 404 km with Myanmar and 318 km with Bangladesh. While the BSF guards the Bangladesh border, the border with Myanmar is looked after by the Assam Rifles.Three other northeastern states - Arunachal Pradesh (520 km), Manipur (398 km) and Nagaland (215 km) - also share unfenced borders with Myanmar.
Meanwhile, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga has proposed to the Assam Rifles DG that bamboo plantation should be carried out along the border areas of the northeastern states as part of enhancing the security along the border areas."Planting the thorny variety of bamboo saplings would render the area impassable in a very short time. The Chief Minister also highlighted that the Laldenga (former Mizoram Chief Minister) Centre of Excellence should also be set up in Aizawl and sought the assistance of Assam Rifles," the official release said.The Assam Rifles Director General, while conveying the untiring support of his forces for ensuring the well-being of the state, assured all support to Mizoram in the progress, especially along the remote border areas.The close coordination and interaction between the state government and the security forces would continue.The Director General assured the Chief Minister that Assam Rifles would be following all the protocols related to Covid-19 as promulgated by the Union Home Ministry.In view of the rising Covid-19 cases among Central Para Military Forces (CPMF) personnel in Mizoram and other northeastern states, Mizoram Chief Minister had last month made a plea to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure the suspension of CPMF movement into the state till August 31, claiming that a large number of coronavirus positive cases in the state were coming from the military and paramilitary personnel. The issue had caused a standoff between the Mizoram government and the Assam Rifles.The CPMF on August 19 had said that by restricting the movement of the armed forces in the state, the Mizoram government was violating the directions of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which had serious implications for national security.An Assam Rifles press release had said that the restrictions imposed by the Mizoram government on the operational movement of Assam Rifles were seriously hampering the smooth functioning of the force, impacting the primary task of guarding the border areas.