Chief Minister Zoramthanga on Tuesday said that Union Home Minister Amit Shah will visit Mizoram and open a new complex of Assam Rifles in Aizawl on March 17.
The chief minister at a news conference told that Shah will inaugurate Assam Rifles headquarters at Zokhawsang which lies about 15 km on the eastern outskirts of Aizawl during his visit. He further said that the Union Home Minister will also lay the foundation stone of former chief minister and Mizo National Front (MNF) founder late Laldenga's Centre in Aizawl.
However, an Assam Rifles official said that they are yet to receive official intimation on the proposed inauguration of Assam Rifles base by Shah. Relocation of Assam Rifles base from the heart of Aizawl to the designated camp at Zokhawsang, about 15 km on the eastern outskirts of the state capital , was one of the top agendas of Zoramthanga led MNF in the last assembly polls held in November 2018.
In February 2019, the Union Home Ministry had directed the Assam Rifles to shift its battalion headquarters to Zokhawsang by May 31 in the same year. The country's oldest paramilitary force has bases at Zodin (Lammual) and Khatla in Aizawl and has been occupying a vast stretch of land since 1917.
The erstwhile MNF government headed by Laldenga had demanded the shifting of Assam Rifles headquarters to Zokhawsang after the security force killed seven civilians in a clash in 1988. During his meeting with Amit Shah in November last year, Zoramthanga had informed the former that the delay in relocation of Assam Rifles headquarters had inconvenienced the state government as some infrastructure developments had to be delayed in the state capital.
On Monday, state home minister Lalchamliana informed the state legislature that it is not certainly known when the Assam Rifles will shift its base to Zokhawsang. In a written reply to a question from opposition Congress leader Zodintluanga Ralte, the home minister said that the paramilitary force has delayed the relocation, making some excuses to the MHA.
Moreover, he said that the state government on his part has completed all the prerequisites for the relocation of the paramilitary force headquarters.