Tug-of-war between locals and Assam forest officials continues in Phinbiro-I

[ Junroi Mamai ]

PHINBIRO-I, 19 Mar: The residents of Phinbiro-I village in Changlang district were on 15 March asked to remove a kutcha waiting shed they had constructed within their village area by forest officials of the Assam government.

The shed has been constructed by the locals to serve as a resting place for passersby.

Changlang SP Mihin Gambo on Saturday informed that the matter was amicably resolved between the locals and the forest officials of Assam.

“The said area is disputed one. Assam government claims the area comes under reserve forest while the locals claim otherwise,” he said.

The area has witnessed similar incidents on many occasions. On 10 May, 2020, forest officials from Lekhapani (Assam) allegedly trespassed into Arunachal’s territory and damaged the foundation stone of the rural works department marking the interstate link road, and removed a PHED ODF signboard nearby.

Then, on 15 December, 2021, Assam’s officials constructed vertical concrete structures (milestones) in the village within Arunachal’s territory, which the locals destroyed.

On both occasions, the Manmao administration filed a complaint at the Manmao police station (PS) but nothing came of it.

The locals have also submitted a complaint letter to the deputy commissioner regarding the recent incident.

Though it has been a longstanding demand of the locals that a proper check gate be constructed and regular police patrolling carried out, there has been no progress in this regard.

The locals say that, unless a police check gate is established and regular patrolling is carried out in the area, such incidents will continue and can escalate in the future.