Admins defuse tension after Assam forest officials violate boundary status quo

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, 11 Jun: The local administrations of Kangku in Lower Siang district and Gogamukh in Assam got together to defuse tension after Assam forest officials and armed personnel ventured into Aruna-chal, violating the status quo along the boundary.

The people of Siloni village in Kangku circle accused Assam forest officials and armed police personnel of violating the status quo along the Assam-Arunachal boundary at Siloni village on Friday.

A video of Assam forest officials carrying a measuring tape and armed police personnel inspecting the area surfaced on Friday.

Reportedly, Siloni Head Goan Burah (HGB) Keyom Nguba, along with the villagers thwarted the Assam officials’ attempt to carry out survey inside Arunachal’s territory.

“I asked them to show me the copy of the order issued by their administration, allowing them to carry out survey or inspection inside Arunachal’s territory, but they were unable to produce it,” Nguba said over the phone.

The HGB alleged that the Assam forest officials along with armed police personnel “came with the ulterior motive of encroaching on Arunachal’s territory.”

Another resident of Siloni village said that such encroachment by Assam’s officials keeps recurring in the foothill areas. “It was a tactic to indirectly intimidate the villagers and encroach on our land,” said a villager who did not wish to be named.

Sources in Dhemaji (Assam), however, informed that the Dhemaji district administration has denied the allegation and clarified that the confrontation between the villagers and Assam’s forest and police personnel occurred when they were on a regular inspection duty along the boundary and mistakenly ventured into the Arunachal side.

On being informed about the confrontation between the villagers and the Assam officials, Kangku CO Kalen Saroh and Gogamukh (Assam) CO Barsha Baruah rushed to the spot to defuse the simmering tension. Both the COs agreed to maintain the status quo on either side. They also resolved to cooperate with each other when it comes to such boundary-related issues, in order to maintain peaceful coexistence.

“The tension has been resolved after a joint inspection. The Dhemaji district administration was very cooperative in defusing the situation and assured us that such an incident would not be repeated,” said Saroh.

On 6 June, a coordination meeting was held between the district administrations of Dhemaji and Lower Siang district in Likabali, with the objective of encouraging cooperation and coordination with regard to boundary-related issues.