Calm returns to Hime village

ITANAGAR, Jun 14: Tension along the Arunachal-Assam boundary at Hime village in Lower Siang district has been defused for now, following the intervention of the Galo Welfare Society (GWS) and the Mishing Autonomous Council (MAC).
The interstate boundary area had been tense after contractors from Assam had recently attempted to build a road through wet rice cultivation fields in Hime village in Arunachal territory.
A verbal agreement was reached on 13 June between the people of both sides of the boundary, by which the chief executive councillor of the MAC, Paramananda Chayengia, agreed to the proposal that work on the MAC-funded road would be carried out only within the territorial jurisdiction of the Assam government.
“Our side (Assam residents) has agreed to divert the road away from the WRC fields. If the residents of Hime agree, we can continue to fund the construction of the road up to their village, or they can continue the road construction by themselves to allay further tensions,” Chayengia said.
In response, Hime GB Mikkok Ngomle, who was accompanied by his colleague Rakkom Nake and other residents, said, “As long as the MAC-funded road does not infringe upon our WRC fields or our territorial jurisdiction, we have no problem.”
As for the continuation of the road construction within Arunachal’s territorial jurisdiction, Ngomle said, “If at all it is felt necessary, we will continue its construction at our own initiative and expense.”
The GWS team, which was led by its general secretary Dr Minge Loyi, urged the residents of Hime to resolve any interstate or inter-community dispute amicably and through mutual respect.
The tone for Wednesday’s ‘harmonious solution’ was set during a meeting between the GWS and the MAC earlier on the same day at the MAC’s conference hall in the Subansiri Eco Camp in Dirpai.
During the meeting, which was convened against the backdrop of two unsuccessful attempts at reconciliation by the locals themselves on 7 and 8 June, the attending members stressed on having mutual respect for the ancestral traditional bond shared between the Tani clans of Arunachal and Assam.
The GWS, along with the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (represented by its debate & symposium secretary Marli Kamki), the MAC, and the Mishing Bane Kebang (represented by its president Raju Medok) agreed that in the absence of a concrete ruling from the Supreme Court with regard to geographical demarcation to facilitate administrative territorial jurisdiction for the governments of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, the communities from the two states residing along the interstate boundary should take the initiative to educate their younger generations on the ancestral bonhomie and close cultural ties shared between the Galos and the Mishings since long before the need for administrative jurisdiction separated the two communities.
Both sides agreed to form a Galo-Mishing coordination committee by 30 June in order to ward off misunderstandings in the future.
Among others, the meeting was attended by GWS president Dr Mitum Boje, its women wing president Yabin Zirdo, public leaders Kenyom Dabi and Rekar Doye, and Mishing Mimak Kebang president Sunil Pegu.