RUKSIN, Apr 19: The local MLA and public leaders here in East Siang district dismissed a TV report alleging that the villagers of Jampani had erected a barricade on the rural road that falls under Assam on the pretext of Covid-19 lockdown but with the motive of encroaching.
The leaders said that the people of Jampani in Arunachal never blocked any road within the territory of Assam, contrary to what was claimed in the TV report.
Instead, the local villagers had erected a bamboo gate at Jampani to prevent unauthorized entry and exit of people during the lockdown period, they maintained, and urged the people to not believe in “such reports with malicious intention.”
The locals here said the Assamese families living in Arunachal’s territory were not restrained but the local villagers temporarily closed down the rural roads to prevent people’s movement during the lockdown.
Reacting to the TV report, which went viral on social media, Pasighat West MLA Ninong Ering said the media should be careful while reporting such incidents, especially when the entire state and the country are going through a difficult time.
He said such reports, “beyond verification of the facts,” might create misunderstanding and undue tension among the boundary dwellers.
“I have personally approached the Ruksin (Arunachal) administration to intervene in the matter. The people of Kemi, Oiramghat, Purana Jelom and Leku villages of Assam have to pass through Ruksin gate in Arunachal, but the interstate boundary has been sealed after the nationwide lockdown order,” Ering said.
The youth wing of the Adi Ba:ne Kebang (ABK), led by Joluk Minung (president) and Jote Minki (general secretary) has submitted a representation to the East Siang DC, clarifying that the incident was not related to the Assam-Arunachal boundary dispute.
The ABK youth leaders appealed to the people of both sides to maintain calm during this difficult time and work together to win the battle against the coronavirus.
When contacted, Sille-Oyan Circle Officer Heera Panggeng said the problem was settled after a joint inspection was carried out by administrative officers and the Assam police.