Committee calls for protest over interstate boundary issue

ITANAGAR, 23 Jan: Stating that “the minutes of the regional committee meeting of Papum Pare-Lakhimpur-Biswanath districts of Assam-Arunachal boundary demarcation has failed to abide by the Namsai Declaration,” the Banderdewa Circle Border Committee (BCBC) on Monday called for “protesting against the decision of the regional committee at the deputy commissioner’s office in Yupia on Tuesday.”

“The regional committee has altered the Namsai Declaration resolution by bringing up yet another resolution for the realignment of Banderdewa, Pichola, and Tani Happa villages in Banderdewa circle,” it claimed.

BCBC chairman Tame Achung told reporters that, besides ignoring the Namsai Declaration, the regional committee also failed to involve any representative from Banderdewa circle, such as the zilla panchayat leader, IMC leaders, “and most importantly, a regular circle officer of Banderdewa” in the meeting.

The BCBC demanded that the state government exclude Banderdewa, Tani Happa and Pichola villages from the joint re-verification. However, it said that it is “ready to cooperate on the re-verification of the other three villages – Gorubanda, Tarajuli, and Durpang.”

It said that Para 4 of the Namsai Declaration clearly states that Banderdewa and Pichola villages are within the constitutional boundary of Arunachal Pradesh, and shall remain with the state.

“However, it is totally different in the minutes of the regional meeting,” the committee said.

“The villages under Banderdewa circle, namely, Banderdewa, Pichola and Tani Happa, which were declared under our state in the Namsai Declaration, are being asked for realignment according to the minutes of the regional committee. This is not acceptable, and we will fight until the mistake is corrected,” Achung said.

“Moreover, it is surprising that, according to the minutes of the meeting, as per the request of the Assam regional committee, Arunachal Pradesh has agreed to realign the villages on the basis of the revenue record map of Assam, and not from the survey of Indian map of 1951, which is the known constitutional boundary of the states,” he said.

 “Whereas, according to the survey of India of the year 1951, it is very clear that 28 villages of Banderdewa circle fall under Arunachal Pradesh. So, what is the need for realignment of the boundary of the villages when the matter is crystal clear?” he said, and questioned the integrity of the members of the regional committee.

Achung informed also that the BCBC has submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Home Minister Bamang Felix, Education Minister Taba Tedir, and Deputy Commissioner Sachin Rana to correct the minutes of the regional committee meeting.