* APCC team to visit border today
GUWAHATI: Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia said that as many as 209 incidents relating to the encroachment of Assam land by the neighbouring states took place in the past five years. The Assam Police registered 120 cases against such incidents and arrested only three people, he said.
Talking to The Sentinel, Saikia said, "Sporadic boundary skirmishes with Mizoram have been taking place in the past few months. Had the State government accorded importance to the boundary disputes in the past five years, the Assam Police personnel would not have lost their lives along the Mizoram border in the Cachar district on Monday.
"Our neighbouring states encroach upon our reserve forest lands. Guarding the reserve forest lands is quite alien to the state Forest Department. Riding on that lapse, Nagaland and Mizoram governments issue land 'pattas' on our reserve forest areas.
"The unfortunate incident on Monday took place in the Dhalai LAC from where Parimal Suklabaidya made it to Dispur and became the Forest Minister. He failed to protect our reserve forest even in his LAC.
"In November last year an APCC (Assam Pradesh Congress Committee) team did visit the Mizoram border in the Cachar district. The Mizoram Police and the local people there did obstruct us during that visit."
Meanwhile, the AICC (All India Congress Committee) constituted a seven-member team to visit the disturbed Assam-Mizoram border in the Cachar district. The team comprises APCC president Bhupen Bora, Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia, MP Pradyut Bordoloi, MP Gaurav Gogoi, MLA Rakibul Hussain, All India Mahila Congress Committee president Sushmita Dev and MLA Kamalakshya Dey Purkayastha. The team left for Silchar today and will visit the border tomorrow. The team will submit its report to the AICC.