AAPSU assesses situation at Dollungmukh

PPA, ANSU condemn eviction drive

ITANAGAR, Dec 9: A team of the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) led by its Vice President (Administration) Meje Taku visited Kherbari village in Dollungmukh circle on Saturday, where five Arunachal Tourist guest houses were reportedly demolished on Friday.
The eviction was reportedly driven by North Lakhimpur DC, SP, CCF, DFO and other officials from the Indian Air Force, aided by 40 Paramilitary forces.
The AAPSU Vice President assessed the disputed area and the adjacent villages that remained affected due to several activities carried out by the Indian Air Force. Interacting with the natives of the area he said that, AAPSU is with them and promised to deliver justice for the atrocities done. He, however, said that he had come to verify and ascertain the facts from ground zero.
“With these reports collected, AAPSU will have an executive meeting shortly and then we will go for a press conference where we will announce the next course of action,” he further said, appealing the local public to maintain calm till then.
Circle Officer Koj Tacho informed that he had tried his best to stop the demolishing but was overpowered. He also said: “Never in my life have I seen an eviction drive like that; it was like a surgical attack. They used drones the entire time. They came well prepared with men and machinery. There was nothing I could do as my appeals were also shunned”.
He further informed that neither he nor the district administration was given any prior information about the eviction, adding that it was all illegal.
Eye witnesses said that at around 9: 30 am on Friday seven heavy machineries (JCBs) were used to bulldoze the entire area.
Condemning the incident, NESO Coordinator Pritam Bhai Sonam said that such unconstitutional activity should be questioned.
“On whose command did the DC use paramilitary forces; doesn’t he know that it is prosecutable?” the NESO coordinator questioned.
Dullungmukh ZPM Bei Tasar informed that the locals of Dullungmukh are severely affected by the border dispute between the two states. He blamed the state government for their deprivation to a peaceful co-existence. He also demanded the state government and Union MoS for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju to solve the boundary dispute at the earliest as the case is still lying pending in the Supreme Court till date.
The AAPSU team was accompanied by members from NESO, RGUSU, AEKDSU, ADASU, ARASU and two advocates.
Meanwhile, the People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) also raised concern over the dismantling of the under-construction tourist lodges in Dollungmukh, and said that it amounted to ‘contempt of court.’
On reports that the North Lakhimpur DC defended the eviction by claiming that it was on the request of the Indian Air Force, the PPA said that the eviction drive was made without serving any eviction notice.
‘This proves that there has been complete communication gap between officials of both the states,’ the PPA stated in a release, and squarely blamed the union home ministry for the fiasco.
Also taking a shot at Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, the PPA said, ‘He must take cognisance of the issue and settle the matter at the earliest.’
The regional party further suggested reassessment of the entire boundary stretch from Balipara in the west to Kanubari in the east, and demanded that an independent committee be constituted by the Government of India to address the long-pending boundary issues at the earliest.
The All Nyishi Students’ Union (ANSU) also strongly condemned the illegal eviction drive carried out at Dollungmukh by police and forest officials from Assam on Friday.
Terming the eviction illegal, the union expressed resentment that the officials from Assam failed to maintain the status quo along the interstate boundary, in violation of the Supreme Court ruling in the matter.
‘If such illegal eviction and dominant attitude is not controlled by the Assam officials, the ANSU will be compelled to take its own course of action,’ the union stated in a press release on Saturday.
It also questioned the position of the Arunachal Pradesh Home department and the state government over their inefficiency in addressing the boundary issue, and demanded immediate intervention.