Assam officials evict Arunachalee villagers

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Itanagar, Apr 5 (UNI) Assam forest officials, along with CRPF personnel, allegedly demolished two houses, damaged property and took away valuables from a village of Papum Pare district in Arunachal Pradesh, official sources said here today.

Papum Pare Deputy Commissioner (DC) Bidol Tayeng, on receiving information yesterday, wrote a letter to his Sonitpur counterpart in Assam to stop the eviction in Tarassa villaage under Balijan circle area located at the disputed inter-state boundary, as it would amount to violation of the status quo, the sources said.

The Sonitpur DC had apparently ordered the eviction on the ground that people from Arunachal had encroached upon the reserve forest of Assam.

''The status quo has to be respected, particularly when a retired Supreme Court judge has been heading the Boundary Commission to solve the border dispute,'' Mr Tayeng told the Sonitpur DC, who agreed not to conduct further eviction.

Sources said the villagers had been living there for the past 10 years, which could not be considered as encroachment even if they were living in the reserve forest as per the status quo signed between the two state governments.

Local villagers, however, alleged that the officials also assaulted five women, who had protested against the eviction.

UNI UPB DPM GL GC1133

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