Mishmis seek deployment of army in Kathan

[Karyir Riba]

ROING, Mar 25: The Mishmi community as a whole has expressed great concern over the atrocities inflicted by Chakma militants on the villagers of Kathan in Wakro circle of Lohit district for more than a decade now.
As per reports, Chakmas have encroached on and have been operating their ‘military wing’ from Kathan, which is the last village of the Mishmis, situated in the southeastern most point of the Mishmi Hills, bordering Changlang district.
Acts of terrorism like extortion at gunpoint, abduction for ransom, harassment, and abuse are common occurrences in the area.
Reportedly, on 17 January, 2017, 16 armed Chakma militants entered Kathan and prohibited the villagers from farming on their own agricultural fields.
The community and student bodies of the district have been apprising the government of the situation ever since its commencement, but no concrete step has yet been taken, which is reportedly worsening the situation.
On 1 March this year, the Mishmi Welfare Society, the Cultural and Literary Society of Mishmis, the Idu Mishmi Cultural and Literary Society, the All Mishmi Students’ Union, and the All Idu Mishmi Students’ Union had jointly taken out a rally in Tezu to highlight the issue.
They had submitted a memorandum to the Lohit DC, once again bringing to the administration’s knowledge the situation in Kathan. The memorandum demanded deployment of army personnel in Kathan; establishment of a paramilitary headquarters or base camp there; evacuation of Chakmas from the Mishmi area; and demarcation of the inter-district boundaries with Changlang.
Copies of the memorandum were also sent to the union home minister, the defence minister, the chief minister, the chief secretary, the Lohit SP, all the Mishmi legislators, the MP and key opposition leaders, the Chongkham MLA, the Arunachal Indigenous Tribes Forum, and the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union.
Members of the Mishmi bodies also visited Kathan on the same day to show solidarity with the villagers and to gain first-hand report on the situation. They met with government officers, Chongkham-Wakro legislator CT Mein, and other public leaders. Deputy CM Chowna Mein was also apprised of the situation.
Despite this, on 19 March, the village was once again terrorized, and the house of one Hamikso Halai was burnt down by Chakma militants. No action has been taken in the matter till date.