Arunachal complains of illegal eviction of villagers

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New Delhi, Jun 17 (UNI) The Arunachal Pradesh Government has strongly condemned the recent illegal eviction of its villagers by Assam Government near the "Rajghar Ali" inter-State border in the Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh.

Arunachal Pradesh MLA Ngurang Pinch told UNI over phone that these two villages were located 5 km inside the traditional boundary between Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.

''If the media had highlighted the pathetic plight of the villagers, the Assam Governemnt officials would not have dared to indulge in such repeated blatant violation of human rights and the law of the land,'' he said.

Quoting village elders of Tarasso, he said they were not afraid of Chinese during the 1962 India-China war as much as they fear Assam forest officals now.

He further said the Assam forest and district administration of Sonitpur have crossed the boundary line of Arunachal Pradesh in Balijan-Tarasso sectors and carried out the eviction of five houses of the Tribal people of Arunachal Pradesh. The eviction under order from district commissioner Sonitpur, Assam by using CRPF has been carried out on the ground that they are living within the Songlijan/Behali Reserved Forest. The evictions were carried out on April 4 at Dullung Ramghat and on April 22, this year at Meteka village.

He said while doing so, the Assam Government has adopted ruthless and inhuman means for carrying out eviction. An elderly woman was beaten up and threatened of being raped at Dullung Ramghat, he alleged.

He said such interference by the Government of Assam inside the territory of Arunachal Pradesh by carrying out eviction is contempt of the order passed by the Supreme Court. The border dispute between Arunachal Pradesh and Assam are being heard by the Local Boundary Commission appointed by the apex court.

Apart from this a bill has been recently passed in the Parliament on ''Scheduled Tribe and other traditional forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest rights) Act, 2006''. Under this Act, the Forest Department, either Arunacal Pradesh or Assam, have to recognise the rights of the Tribal people, who have been living inside the Reserved Forest prior to 2005 and in this case the people were living in the said villages since 1969, Mr Pinch added.

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu had requested Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to ensure that status quo is mantained in the area till the settlement of the boundary dispute between the two States and Mr Gogoi had given him assurance that no illegal eviction would be carried out by Assam Government in the disputed area, he said.

UNI BKS SY RP RAI1759

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