Over 1,000 acres of land in LDV encroached on by Assam, says union

[ Karyir Riba ]

ROING, Sep 24: The District Border Students’ Union (DBSU) has raised concern over the issues being faced by the people residing in the interstate boundary areas of Lower Dibang Valley (LDV) district, and have demanded justice for them.

The union has alleged that around 1,000 acres of the district’s land have been encroached on by the government of Assam and the Missing Autonomous Council.

“They have constructed permanent structures like schools, community halls, PMGSY roads and power connections, and many more other settlement activities have been carried out. All of these activities are taking place inside the Dibang forest reserve area, and are now being extended upto the Dambuk-Paglam road,” the union said.

It informed that, “according to the Assam-Arunachal agreement 1991/NEFA 1991 representation,” the west bank of the Dotung river has been clearly demarcated as Arunachal, while the eastern bank is Assam.

“In this regard, the nefarious activities carried out by the Assam counterpart at the border of our district is a violation of the Supreme Court order to maintain status quo for better interstate relationship,” it said.

The DBSU said that the Paglam Circle Peace Committee has also written several letters to the authorities concerned regarding the matter. However, it claimed that despite rapid encroachment being carried out by the Assam government in the areas, no administrator or government representative has ever made any spot visit, and no action has yet been initiated against the encroachers.

The union also claimed that large-scale deforestation and illegal timber trade are being carried out by Assam in the encroached areas of the Dibang forest reserve area.

The union has submitted a memorandum to the DC here, demanding immediate eviction of the encroachers and demolition of all illegal structures built in Arunachal’s territory.

“The woes and cries of the people of the border area have been neglected since the last two decades, and if our demands are not fulfilled, we will opt for democratic movement to fight for our right,” it said.

The union quoted the DC as saying that, since it is a judicial matter, all reports regarding the issue would be forwarded to the higher authority and action would be taken accordingly.

According to the forest department, encroachment and illegal settlement have been going on in the areas since the 1970s. The illegal settlers in the areas have been given eviction notices by the department, and the cases are pending in the court.