Mizoram: Govt imposes section 144 in the disputed village along Tripura over temple construction

The standoff between Tripura and Mizoram centering on Phuldungse village started three months ago in August when Tripura identified a dispute in the village.

A week after objecting to the construction of temple and community work at Phuldungsei village atop Jamui hill along the Tripura-Mizoram inter-state border, Mizoram has imposed Section- 144 with effect from October 16 restricting public movement along the bordering area.

Mizoram’s Mamit District Magistrate Dr Lalrozama said the prohibitory order issued Friday followed after an organization of Tripura named Songrongma had plans to construct a Shiv temple on October 19 and 20 at Thaidaw Tlang in Mamit district.

In the order, he said, Section 144 has been issued in Phuldungsei Zampui and Zomuantlang areas from today with a view to maintaining law and order situation. This section will prohibit five or more persons from assembling in the village and surrounding areas of Phuldungsei Zampi and Zomuantlang, Mamit district, Mizoram from October 16.

Any violation of the order would be dealt with under section 188 of the IPC, which is punishable with one-month imprisonment or Rs 200 fine or both and imprisonment up to six months if the violation poses threat to human life, health, safety or is a potential cause for the breakdown of law like rioting.

The village situated at Kanchanpur Sub-division under North Tripura district shares state boundary with Tripura and Mizoram, around 324 Km from Agartala.

Around 130 villagers living at Phuldungsei village were registered both in Tripura and Mizoram and had names in electoral rolls in both states, two ration cards and enjoyed public welfare benefits of both states.

Earlier, on October 11, the Home Minister of Mizoram addressed to his fellow counterpart in Tripura that construction of temple in the disputed inter-state border village could result into law and order problems.

In August, the Kanchanpur Sub-divisional magistrate Chandani Chandaran cited that the traditional Phuldungsei Village Council as a whole (despite Eastern side falling in Mizoram) has been accepted as a part of Tripura. Hence, the inclusion of the VC and its residents in Mizoram electoral rolls seems to be problematic. There is an urgent need to demarcate the exact boundary between Mizoram and Tripura incorporating the entire Phuldungsei VC in Tripura.

A joint spot verification drive with the two governments is to be facilitated by the survey of India.

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