Tensions along the Assam-Mizoram, brewing for weeks, have come to a boil after a resident of Assam allegedly died in the custody of the Mizoram police sometime after Sunday evening. On Monday, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal dashed off a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah about the “abduction by miscreants” and subsequent death of Intazul Laskar, who lived in a town along the Assam-Mizoram border in Cachar district.

The Mizoram police claim Laskar was a “drug peddler” who was apprehended by members of the Young Mizo Association, a powerful pressure group from the state. “When he was caught, he tried running and unfortunately fell into a gorge,” said Vanlalfaka Ralte, the police chief of Kolasib, where the incident allegedly took place. “He was handed over to the excise and narcotics department, who took him to the hospital, where he died the next day.”

Ralte’s counterpart from across the border, Cachar police superintendent Bhanwar Lal Meena, said Laskar was “innocent”. “He had no such record of drug dealing,” said Meena. “His medical report suggests that he was beaten up. We are investigating what exactly happened.”

On Tuesday, the Assam government said it wanted the National Investigation Agency to probe Laskar’s death.

A long running border dispute

The alleged “abduction” that...

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