Mizoram oppn party MLAs go to police over spread of fake news

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The MLAs of Mizoram”s main opposition party have filed a police complaint against “some vested interests” accusing them of spreading fake news via social media to create communal tension between Mizos and Chakmas over an incident of arson and assault of two security personnel.

The legislature party of Zoram People”s Movement (ZPM) said the accused intentionally circulated fabricated information via Facebook regarding the assault of two India Reserve Battalion (IRB) personnel in a Mizoram village last week and the subsequent torching of an unoccupied hut in Tripura across the border, police said on Saturday.

The ZPM legislature party, the complaint was signed by Dr Vanlalthlana and it was registered on late Friday evening.

Alleging that it was a deliberate attempt by some vested interests to humiliate the Mizos and thereby create communal rivalry between them and Chakmas, the MLAs sought an investigation into the matter.

A Chakma couple constructed a kutcha house near Kawnpui village in North Tripura district for using it during shifting (jhum) cultivation. It was set on fire on April 20.

The incident came two days after two IRB personnel from Mizoram were assaulted by a mob allegedly hailing from Kawnpui, while they were keeping vigil to prevent cross border movement in a bid to contain the spread of novel coronavirus.

Kawnpui is close to Zomuantlang village in Mamit district of Mizoram across the border.

Following the arson, rumours were circulated on social media on April 14 that members of several Mizo organisations clashed with the people of Kawnpui, who were predominantly Chakmas.

Tripura police, the Mizo organizations and Chakma leaders denied that any such clashes took places.

Three persons of Kawnpui were arrested in connection with the assault. However, one of them escaped durig routine medical check-up.

A similar complaint was filed in Champhai police station against five Facebook users on Wednesday by a leader of the Peoples Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM), a political party of the state.

Champhai district SP, Rex Zarzoliana Vanchhawng, told PTI that the real identities of the five social media users are yet to be ascertained.

Both the Mizoram and Tripura governments have deployed additional forces along the inter-state border to prevent further tension.

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