Rebuilding temple: Security stepped up along Tripura-Mizoram border

AGARTALA/AIZAWL: Tripura and Mizoram beefed up security and promulgated prohibitory orders, even as the Tripura authorities stopped reconstruction of a temple at the disputed Phuldungsei village along the inter-state border.

Mizoram Chief Secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo on Saturday said that in view of the public resentment, the state government has taken precautionary measures along the inter-state borders with Tripura.

“Tripura Home Secretary is yet to respond to our Home Secretary Lalbiaksangi’s letter over the inter-state border issue,” Chuaungo said.

According to Mizoram’s Mamit district officials, prohibitory orders under section 144 Cr Pc were clamped in Phuldungsei, Zampui and Zomuantlang villages in view of the proposed construction of a temple in the area by an indigenous organisation of Tripura.

North Tripura district Superintendent of Police Bhanupada Chakraborty said that troopers of the Tripura State Rifles and police were posted at Phuldungsei village on Friday.

“The deployment of security forces was done in view of the controversy over the rebuilding of a temple. However, there is no untoward incident yet or any kind of tension in our side,” Chakraborty told IANS.

Mizoram Home Secretary Lalbiaksangi, in a letter to her Tripura counterpart Barun Kumar Sahu, said that the Survey of India has been requested to facilitate the joint spot verification with the Governments of Tripura and Mizoram to resolve the inter-state boundary issue at the earliest.

The October 9 letter said that the Mizoram government has received reports that Songrongma of Tripura, a local indigenous organisation, is trying to construct a “Mandir” (temple) at the “disputed inter-state border village near Phuldungsei”. The letter claimed that the area is under Mamit district.

Northern Tripura’s Kanchanpur Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Chandni Chandran in a letter to the Vice-President of Bru Songrongma Mtho Babujoy Reang directed to stop reconstruction of the temple.

Chandran in her letter said: “….the undersigned regrets to inform you that such permission cannot be granted. As you are already aware, such large congregations are prohibited in the country in the context of spread of Covid-19.

There is apprehension of a breakdown of law and order and communal clashes as there is a boundary dispute between Tripura and Mizoram in the area and the Phuldungsei village council has objected to the plan.

The letter said: “A path of discussion and reconciliation involving all the stakeholders is necessary on the issue and you are instructed to not undertake any such activities without the prior permission of the authority taking into account the sensitive nature of the issue involving different communities and strategic locations of Phuldungsei.”

Phuldungsei has populations of both the Hindu Reangs (locally called ‘Bru’) and Lusai (Mizo), who are Christian.

The Kanchanpur SDM earlier wrote a letter to the north Tripura District Magistrate saying that “Phuldungsei village as a whole, despite its eastern side falling in Mizoram, had been accepted as part of Tripura territory”, emphasising the urgent need to demarcate the exact boundary between Mizoram and Tripura and incorporating the whole of Phuldungsei village in Tripura.

Bru Songrongma Mtho Vice-President Babujoy Reang said that the makeshift temple has existed since 1943 at Phuldungsei village and the Lusai (Mizo), who are Christians, demolished it and put up a Christian cross in 2013, continuously preventing the temple priest Mangaljoy Reang, 68, from performing worship.

“I have communicated the matter to the leaders of VHP (Vishva Hindu Parishad) and RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) and they would take up the matter with the Tripura government and appropriate authority.”

Some VHP leaders earlier brought a Shivling from Haridwar to establish in the temple. “We are now helpless to protect our traditional temple and worship there following the Lusai’s obstacles and non cooperation of the state administrations,” Babujoy Reang told IANS over phone.

“We had intended to perform some rituals on October 19 and 20,” he said.

The Mizo Convention, an organisation of Lusai (Mizo), has also called a shutdown on October 19 and 20.


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