Sinlung /
02 May 2013

Did Mizoram Govt Allow Mob Violence?, May 2 : Even as the people of Vaphai unreasonably blamed Gauhati High Court for the torching of Saikhumphai Bawk, an alleged illegal settlement near the Mizoram-Myanmar border, the state administration was held responsible for the heinous crime.

Severely criticising the government's inaction to contain mob violence, the Mizoram Bar Association today asked if the government instigated Monday's incident in which the entire hamlet, except for church buildings and an anganwadi centre, was torched by an irate mob from Vaphai village, under whose jurisdiction falls Saikhumphai Bawk.

The high court's verdict on April 26, which nullified the Mizoram government's order for evacuation of Saikhumphai Bawk, directed the concerned Champhai district deputy commissioner to provide housing materials and financial assistance to residents of Saikhumphai Bawk whose houses had been dismantled in the earlier evacuation process within two months, and also to maintain law and order to contain possible mob violence. "Despite the clear instructions of the High Court, the district administration allowed the mob to burn down the village.

Deployment of adequate police forces could have evaded the mob incident," said C Zoramchhanga, assistant secretary of MBA, in a press conference here today. Defying the high court's order, the mob, comprising more than one thousand people from Vaphai, torched all the 40 houses in Saikhumphai Bawk on Monday and organised a rally at Vaphai on Tuesday where they accused the high court of "burning the village."

"The incident of a breach of administration of justice and accusing the High Court of burning the village was baseless and insensible. We will file contempt of court case," said the advocate.

No one has been arrested in connection with the torching of the village, which according to the bar association, was a clear indication of the government's apathy. The lawyer also strongly condemned the death threat served to the advocate and member of the association, who had pursued the case in the High Court, and vowed to stand in solidarity to defence their profession.

The association demanded arrest of sender (s) of the threat letter and appropriate action against the residents of Vaphai who involved in the mob incident. Advocate J C Lalnunsanga has filed an FIR against the death threat and sought police protection. Dismissing allegations that the residents of Saikhumphai Bawk are Myanmarese nationals, the advocate maintained that they are genuine Indian citizens who possess EPICs.

According to the advocate, Saikhumphai Bawk was inhabited from 1963, but was evacuated following Mizoram insurgency from 1966, and was re-inhabited with the permission of Vaphai village council from 1987 when peace returned to Mizoram in 1986. He showed documents to prove these claims.


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