Aizawl: Mizoram’s apex student body, the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MNF), on Wednesday began collecting donation from public in all parts of the state to compensate the losses that the students suffered during clashes with Assam Police at Zophai near Bairabi town of Kolasib district along the Assam-Mizoram border in March.
After the kickoff ceremony here, donation was collected in various localities such as Khatla, Sikulpuikawn, Kulikawn and Ngaizel.
MZP general secretary Lalnunmawia Pautu said that donation would be collected in all parts of the state and in Aizawl, it will be collected for four days in different localities by carrying donation boxes by the students.
On the second day, donation would be collected in Treasury, Tennis Court, Zodin and Chanmari, Bazar and Millennium centre on the third day.
On the fourth day, it will be collected in localities like Chaltlang, Vaivakawn, Bawngkawn, Thuampui and Zemabawk, he said.
Donation would be collected from the people of Mizoram in general and non-indigenous companies and workers from Assam living in Mizoram in particular, he added.
Pautu said that all residents of Assam and non-indigenous companies, suppliers and private contractors, among others were informed to come to MZP office on Saturday to pay donation.
Addressing the kick off ceremony at the MZP office here on Wednesday, MZP president L. Ramdinliana Renthlei said they were left with no other options but to collect donation from the Mizo people and Assam residents and corporate after the Centre, Assam and Mizoram government refused to compensate them.
“We are very sorry that donation has to be collected from the public and companies owing to the refusal from the Centre, Assam and Mizoram governments to compensate our losses caused by Assam police during the border standoff. We were hurt because we have been neglected,” he said.
Renthlei claimed that more than Rs 21.7 lakhs worth properties and personal belongings of the student volunteers were destroyed and burnt by the Assam police during the confrontation.
He alleged that the Assam police burnt their makeshift camps, damaged properties and vehicles and also stole mobile phones belonging to the students.
According to the leader, apart from the Assam government, the student body also wrote to the President, Prime Minister and Home Minister requesting them to give compensation for their losses, but to no avail.
Renthlei said that the Mizoram government too, has rejected their request to pay the medical bills of the student who was shot at by the Assam police and other volunteers who suffered injuries during the confrontation at Zophai.
He further said that the student body has a huge debt amounting to lakh of rupees as they have to borrow from others to meet the medical expenses of the injured people and vehicle repair bills and others.
Tension had erupted at Zophai along the Assam-Mizoram border on 8 and 10 March this year, when MZP functionaries attempted to construct a resting shed on the land, as claimed by the MZP, donated by former Mizoram Chief Minister late Ch. Chhunga’s wife Lalrothangi.
According to Renthlei, at least 68 people mostly students were injured when Assam police resorted to lathicharge and firing to disperse the protesting students.
Mizoram Journalist Association (MJA), an umbrella body of all journalists in Mizoram also claimed that at least 8 journalists were attacked and beaten up by Assam police despite flaunting their press credentials.