Shillong, Feb 19 IANS) Chief Minster Lal Thanhawala Saturday claimed Mizoram is a peaceful state and free of gun-running and counterfeit currency rackets.
“Yes, smuggling of arms and counterfeiting of Indian currency was a major security concern a few years back in Mizoram. But it’s no longer the case as peace has once again returned to Mizoram,” Thanhawla told reporters here.
The veteran Congress leader Saturday inaugurated the new annexure of Mizoram House and a Mizo boys’ hostel in Shillong, the state capital of Meghalaya.
Mizoram, which shares 722 km of porous border with Myanmar and Bangladesh, had become an epicentre of arms and drugs smuggling.
The state, however, is considered one of the more peaceful ones in the northeast after it signed a peace accord in 1986.
There are no Mizo insurgent groups, therefore outfits from insurgency-infested states like Nagaland, Tripura and Manipur carry out their illegal operations from there.
Drugs, counterfeit currencies, precious stones, arms and ammunition are routinely smuggled into Mizoram from Myanmar and Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar.
“All such persons involved in smuggling have been identified over the years and have been arrested. So there are no reports of such cases now,” the chief minister added.
Arms smuggling in Mizoram has a direct bearing on Meghalaya and Assam as these weapons are subsequently filtered here and distributed to different militant groups of the northeast.
“We will not allow smuggling of arms, ammunition or any illegal items from either Myanmar or Bangladesh. We have enforced strict vigil along the two international borders,” Thanhawala said.