India

Probe land allotment in Assam Rifles HQ: Mizoram NGO


The State Assembly resolved to cancel all the land deeds allotted to some 50 people

An influential NGO in Mizoram has demanded a probe into the alleged land settlement certificates for owning plots within a battalion headquarters of India’s oldest paramilitary force.

The 186-year-old Assam Rifles has been occupying a vast area in the central part of State capital Aizawl as a battalion headquarters since 1917. The force’s 46th Battalion is currently camped there.

State Revenue Minister Lalruatkima said at least 50 people were illegally given land deeds with the Assam Rifles complex after the Ministry of Home Affairs had decided to shift the paramilitary unit to Zokhawsang, about 15 kilometres from Aizawl.

On March 8, the State Cabinet resolved to cancel all land deeds given to private parties.

The Central Young Mizo Association (CYMA) has now sought an investigation into how the land in the prime area of the State capital was handed over to a few individuals.

“We will not allow the land to be given to private owners and would try to ensure it is reserved for public use,” the CYMA said in a statement.

A movement to shift Assam Rifles out of Aizawl had begun in 1988 after personnel of the force allegedly killed seven civilians. The government then was headed by Laldenga, the founder-president of the Mizo National Front (MNF).

The move intensified after the Zoramthanga-headed MNF returned to power in 2018. On February 19, the MHA issued a notification directing Assam Rifles to shift its battalion headquarters from Aizawl to Zokhawsang by May 31.

“But the Congress government had in anticipation of the shift allotted land in the headquarters to some private parties,” an MNF leader said on Friday.

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