Don't take law in your hands: CM

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Itanagar Sep 17 (UNI) Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu has advised the villagers at Jang, 40 km from Tawang, to have faith in the judiciary and district administration.

While responding to their request for his intervention in solving disputes between the villagers and cattle herders or ''brokpas'' yesterday, the Chief Minister said, ''Don't take the law in your hands, leave it to the district administration and judiciary.'' Mr Khandu called for peaceful co-existence and harmony in the village, official sources said.

Earlier, the villagers had complained that some brokpas were not paying the traditional tax for grazing their cattle in the community fields, compelling the villagers to drive out the cattle from the grazing lands.

''These people are after all our brothers. Don't make a big issue of it,'' the Chief Minister said.

Gaon bura Lama Gombu and a villager Dorjee Mendo said as per the tradition, the cattle herders had to pay taxes to the village council in the form of milk and milk products. This tax after collection was equally distributed among the villagers. The cattle herders, being members of the village, also received their share from it.

Local sources said the village council had donated a part of the grazing land for setting up a college. Since the brokpas would not be allowed to graze their cattle in the ground any more, they had been exempted from paying taxes against those lands.

However, taking it as a precedent, the brokpas now wanted the tax to be exempted from all the grazing grounds, resulting in the villagers convening a meeting in presence of the Chief Minister.

The gaon burah pointed out that if a brokpa lost his cattle or sold it, he would become eligible to receive the tax collected by the village council from other brokpas.

Terming the breaking of rules as unfortunate, he said if it continued, it would erase the age-old tradition of the villages.

The meeting, however, ended with many brokpas agreeing to pay taxes while a few of them still remained adamant, sources added.

UNI

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