A voyage to Kepang La

[ Tayi Taggu ]

It’s like revisiting the incredible stories of courage and valour of Major RK Hranga, an Indian Frontier Administrative Service [IFAS] officer who discovered and single-handedly established Tuting outpost almost seven decades ago when there was no road, except a perilous narrow footpath, which is why it took him 15 days to reach Tuting from Pasighat.

For most tourists, the word Kepang La sounds so unfamiliar that it means nothing to them and they don’t care much about it at all; some others try to dig out its meaning.

Kepang La, called Polo Yorbe (Yorbe Ridge) by the Adi people, is a mountainous passage trade route between Tibet and India. Polo Yorbe is a name well known to us, and the name itself brings back nostalgia, strikes right into our umbilical cord, and evokes memories of our history.

The Adi Bane Kebang’s (ABK) executive members’ decision to conduct the ABK conference in 2014 in Tuting, one of the most remote and strategic towns, located just 36 kms away from the international border with Tibet, was an exciting and pleasant piece of news for us. We were enthusiastic to rediscover the passage which had been a major migratory and trade route of our forefathers in the ancient times.

Come winter, it is the best time to visit and see historical places, mountains, the bend of the Siang river, etc, and there could have been no better chance to know about our missing links with those historical places with an exciting opportunity at hand, which we wouldn’s have liked to miss.

Polo Yorbe stands as the frontier between our people of India and the Tibetan people of China, but it was also an important barter trade route for rock salt, warm blazers (nambi), iron, swords, bells, bowls, bracelets, brass bangles, daos, metal disc, beads, and turquoise from mines in Tibet and China in the ancient time. Our major exports item included chillies, rice, pigs, goats, mithuns, and skins of civets, deer, bear, tar, leopard, tiger, etc.

Gelling circle is named after Gelling village, which is now India’s most forward circle, about 5 to 6 kms from the Kepang La international border.

The Membas are inhabitants of four villages – Gelling, Kopu, Bona, and Bishing – and their population is about 1,600 souls. They are followers of the Mahayana sect of Buddhism.

The nearest Chinese village to our border is Xirang, on the right bank of the Siang (Tsangpo), and by the way, our people called Xirang village ‘Bomong Hirang’. (In the last four to five years, it seems the government of China has made a large military garrison in and around Xirang village.)

Long ago, the Adis inhabited the present Gelling circle, which is why many names of the places in Adi still exist.

It is interesting that, before the war of 1962, most of our people had little or no knowledge about the existence of China as a country and Chinese people because our neighbouring people were Tibetans. In more than one way, the war of 1962 was a blessing in disguise, a real game-changer that brought our people closer to rest of India.

The exciting journey from Itanagar to Tuting via Pasighat road was no less than an adventurous trip that I cherished to remember in my life. For those of us who travelled for the first time from Itanagar to Tuting, the road never seemed to reach Tuting, and we wondered how far Tuting was (almost a decade ago). Our apprehension seemed reasonable as we were nearly completing three days of a gruelling bumpy ride on the road, and yet we were still to reach Tuting.

Despite difficulties, what made our journey buoyant and memorable was that it was a journey to unknown realms to explore the unexplored areas and rediscover the pristine glory of the Siang valley.

The Siang river is one of the most dynamic, turbulent, and awesome rivers, and is a great source of lyrics, many immortal love stories, and songs.

A pretty interesting incident occurred exactly two-and-a-half years after our journey to Tuting; my commissioner and I went down to IIT Guwahati (Assam) as they had been selected as consultants for the Rurban project in Tuting, as per the government of India norms. In our casual discussion, senior professors and their juniors thought it might take them a day to reach Tuting from Guwahati, which shocked me beyond a word. And their discussion triggered my thoughts on how ignorant and impractical learned professors’ thinking can be, and it is a great insult to their wisdom but not their knowledge. However, a little later, it was down to me, as learned men professors might have other things or priorities on their minds as they had to regularly set their own goals and challenges to deal with. In their busy life and schedule, Tuting didn’t matter much to them, which appeared like a tiny dot on the map that couldn’t draw the attention of the professors to study the practical difficulties of the area. (Over the last nine years, the state has witnessed a huge jump in improvement of road infrastructural development, thereby reducing communication bottlenecks and rapidly increasing the overall connectivity, which had seemed impossible a few years ago.)

Our efforts to make the professors understand the topographical difficulties of Arunachal did not get instant acceptance. Rightly or wrongly, the basic human instinct everywhere is the same. It seems the law of resistance was operating therein without their knowing. Instead of agreeing to our points of view, they wanted to know the distances in kilometres and so on and so forth, and that’s how life is. It may appear quite reasonable, yet it is illogical, if we think there is one solution for all. Then it could spell a disaster.

And if the distance in kilometres is taken as the basic standard to reach a place, and if this is the case, then every human being walking on Earth can reach the peak point of Mt Everest, which is just 8.848 kms away from the mean sea level; yet it takes Herculean efforts and singleness of purpose to reach the top. We were told that some days were lost to find even a negotiable route, because survival depends upon finding a route to climb, as life hangs on the balance. And we can’t gauge that one wrong step can take out life in a second due to extreme difficulties of the topography.

In the real drama of life, it is inevitable that all of us have to go through a critical situation whereby we felt a little itched and irritated by our elders’/seniors’ irrational talk; yet, hopelessly, we were powerless in front of them. In such circumstances, we hoped that no one would start any argument or counter-argument, which could foil our bonhomie and put us in an embarrassing situation.

To break the ice, I offered gentle remainders and politely deflected them to their proposed journey, which would be torturous. One professor was aghast: “A reality yet unbelievable another side of the story,” he said, with anxiety writ large on his face.

A fortnight later, when the truth slammed them hard on their faces, after they had been to Tuting and back to Guwahati, as they discovered the true meaning of a difficult journey without asking any questions, apparently, they understood that there is a world beyond IITtian classrooms. And they now know better that the real world is far too complicated to comprehend from a classroom alone.

Major RK Hranga cupped his right hand to prevent sunrays from directly falling on his eyes looking across the Siang river and seeing the lush green flat slope land on the right bank of the Siang river early in the morning from Jido village.

“Eureka! I have found,” he said to himself. He was walking across the longest hanging bridge (in those days). He had conceived Tuting administrative centre in his mind even before reaching the other end of the bridge. A few minutes later, he felt a storm building up inside him as fell out of excitement and ecstasy for discovering a new administrative centre. And it was a fabulous experience that goes beyond a word and indeed good fortune for him

He felt marvellous and thrilled by the discovery of Tuting, and the name Tuting comes from Tuting village, which was a few kilometres away from the proposed administrative centre.

As destiny would have it, he was inducted into the IFAS from the Indian Army. We all remember Major RK Hranga, and whenever we discuss Tuting, his name comes first in our mind. He was a Mizo, an outstanding officer with an indomitable spirit who single-handedly established the Tuting administrative centre from 15 July 1953 to 1958 from ground zero. And his groundbreaking achievement was that he developed the Tuting airfield for successful landing of Dakotas, with the help of the local people, without taking a single pie from the government (which is a rare achievement).

He was a workaholic officer, a real hero in real life who deserved many accolades from all of us, and we salute his soul from the core of our hearts.

Major RK Hranga’s life story was an incredible story of human struggle; grit and determination, unparalleled in the history of the NEFA days.

Adding to his mounting difficulties was that it took him a 15-day journey to reach Tuting from Pasighat – it is an unbelievable story today – and another two more days to reach Gelling Kepang La.

If he had sent down a person from Tuting to Pasighat, that person would have taken at least one month to return to Tuting if he took two days’ rest after the 15 days’ gruelling continuous journey.

But Major RK Hranga was a man with a mission in his heart. All hurdles and insurmountable problems appeared like ripples amongst the waves of the Siang river that couldn’t deter him from achieving is goal.

One fine morning, when he woke up, he found that he was sleeping with a snake, and on another occasion, leeches gladly dipped into his body, sucking blood from him while he slept on his bed, and that’s truly an amazing story of an undefeatable man.

Today, it is unthinkable that, during RK Hrangas’ time, Tuting, which took a 15-day journey from Pasighat to reach, can be now reached within 40 to 45 minutes by chopper and less than four minutes by supersonic aircraft. With today’s advanced technology, Tuting is no longer a distant place; real travel time has been reduced dramatically.

After a 15- to 20-minute drive from Pasighat, we came across an orange orchard, and paddy fields, then the road coiled up to the middle of the hill, where beautiful Rengging village is perched on one of the major ridges of Bapii Adi or Abor Hills. (Rengging village is now in the danger zone, according to geologists, as many deep cracks have appeared in and around the village, which threatens its very existence. The village is sitting on ‘earth debris’, according to experts.)

We had a freshwater drink from a fountain at the 20 Mile camp. Thereafter, we reached Rottung camp, where we saw large numbers of ruined and abandoned buildings of the Brahmaputra Flood Control Commission (BFCC) built during the late ’70s to construct a dam over the Siang river.

Rottung village is located on the most suitable land in the area, just a kilometre away from Rottung camp. We reached Yembung camp where the British regime had built an inspection bungalow (IB), which stood strong until the flashflood of 2000, which completely devastated and ruined the IB, leaving no sign of its previous existence. The life cycle of the great flashflood (pumu) is about four generations – approximately a century, as per word of mouth. And the IB system was introduced to the frontier state by the British for the safety, security and comfortable stay of their officers/staffers, whoever was on duty and visited remote outpost areas.

The British Raj also introduced a bizarre rule called ‘kursi naschin’. A certificate holder was entitled to sit on a chair in the office and others had to stand even if chairs are empty. The order had been issued in July 1887 to make Indian feel inferior to them in Delhi.

We were told how valiantly Kebang villagers fought a war with the British Army, although the British Army had overwhelming superiority with guns and large troops.

Yembung is a very turbulent tributary, coming from the upper ridge of Yemsing village, and it generates 450 kilowatts of power. Pangin is the beautiful village after which Pangin administrative centre is named. On the left side of the Siang river is Komsing village, where James Williamson, assistant political officer, was killed on 31 March, 1911.

After crossing Pangin town, on the downside is Koreng village, perched on the Kerang-Lampang slope. From Koreng village, we saw Yeksi village on the middle flat slope of the hill, then down from there, the breathtaking confluence of the Siyom and the Siang rivers.

The Siyom river is a dark grey colour, while the Siang river in a deep sky-blue colour, and can be seen from the Bailey bridge over the Siyom river.

Thereafter, after another 20 to 25 minutes’ journey, we reached Boleng, and its township area lies in between Rabung stream and the Simang river. Lileng is about half-a-kilometre and Rengo village is 1 km from the Simang river; Dosing village is on the upside of the hills of the main road. The road which cuts across the Parong Deleng WRC field area and reaches Dite-Dime (two rock domes full of pandanus trees; one is larger in height and size, and is called dite, and one smaller in height and size called dime). From the foot of Dite-Dime, the road branches into two roads – one goes to Tuting on the right of the Siang river, and the other road, over the Siang river by Bailey bridge (now a beautiful RCC bridge) goes to Yingkiyong on the left side of the Siang river. Sitang village is about 10 kms up from the Dite-Dime point.

Thereafter, we reached Riga’s upcoming town and circle headquarters (now upgraded to EAC HQ). The surrounding natural scenic beauty of Riga is simply mind-blowing. From there we saw a snow-capped mountain called Miri Pamdi yonder in the distance, beyond Peki Modi, one of the remotest villages of upper Siang district, and when looking down we saw the meandering Siang river in sky blue colour cut it way below Geku town. From the same spot, we can see Riga and Sitang villages and Diba mountain, which is the source of Bambung and Mabung tributaries.

Its topography is uniquely made, as it has two natural lakes – Diyung and Dilap – since time immemorial and are revered by the people. If proper infrastructure is created, Riga HQ could be a good summer hill station and Riga village is one of the oldest and the largest Adi villages.

We reached Pangkang Jorkong village, after travelling 30 plus kms from Riga village, and just after crossing the Lubung tributary nearby, there is heart-numbing precipice rock cliffs. God forbid, if anything happened on the precipitous, rocky road, life would be gone in a second. In those moments, you’re forced to think about god and life as there is no certainty of life, and if we ever safely back home, we shall profusely thank the almighty god for his kindness.

Pangkang Kumku village is about five kms from Pangkang Jorkong village, and from there, after another 6 kms, we reached Jengging town, and in between there is the Nyubung river, from where power is generated.

Our journey from Pasighat to Gosang was one of the most lively, memorable and exciting, owing to Yalem Burang (my aunt), a charismatic lady whose cheerful talk enthralled us beyond a word. Besides, she has unlimited collections of the wittiest jokes on her sleeve. I’m sure anyone who listens to her talk would be nudged to hilarious laughter. She has the splendid ability to recall numerous funny incidents and childlike stupidities that happened to us in everyday life so absorbing. We lost count of time and forgot the bumpy ride road altogether. Sometimes her jokes were so ridiculous that we were lost in laughter, but gasping and trying to find a space for breathing.

At the Jengging circuit, we were received by the Upper Siang ABK unit, along with Ajin Apang, former ABK president, who requested us to stay at his residence. But due to paucity of time and previous engagement, we declined his request politely.

Jengging is a lovely town that has the potential to become a small tourist hill station, if properly groomed, in the future. Karko is one of the renowned and historic Adi villages, and the second biggest village after Riga village on the right bank of the Siang river.

We reached Gosang three hours late, at 7:30 pm. Ado Burang and his party were anxiously waiting for us to give us a warm reception. Their friendly reception made us feel at home – a home away from the home. They made a huge bonfire on the lawn to warm us on the cold winter night. We were supplied with plentiful foods, meats, and drinks, or what else? We were in the most wonderful land – we were treated as if we were kings and queens. We had the run of our good luck. They were such great hosts that we didn’t find the right words to express our thanks to them.

Our night halt at Gosang was an unforgettable experience of human hospitality and kindness, and we cherished to remember in our lives.

On 15 January, 2014, we left Gosang village for Tuting early in the morning. Moying camp is the Indian Army military garrison as well as the Border Road Organisation (BRO) HQ and it is a few kilometres away from Gosang village. Ramsing village is spread on an amazingly beautiful slope flatland, and none of us expected any flatland amid the high mountains. We had full of admiration for Ramsing village when we learned that organic tea produced from this tiny village sold @ Rs 76,000/kg in Gujarat in the tea auction market. It was the highest rate in the country during that year. That’s truly a proud moment for all Arunachalis and especially organic tea growers’ minds that could ignite and act as catalysts for a real game changer in the future.

The winding and precipitous road with sharp turns and twists that coils up like a great snake ultimately led us to the historic Jaanbo village. It crosses over at the height of 2,000 metres above the mean sea level. Jaanbo is a historical village known to all Adis because it was one of the most frequented historical migratory routes. People also remembered the village for Jaanbo nyige, a natural or unnatural depression or land formed (might be formed by watery erosion or due to wild boar regular bath in a sludge on the mountain passage). And the depression or hollow canal in due course of time might become a pass and migratory route of the Adi to cross over the strategic mountain.

Nyige Lihong, a stone pillar, is another popular name, still standing but its head was broken by Janno warrior while tightening the loose sword. The broken-off stone pillar still lying nearby. In absence of written records, no one can tell us the time and date with certainty when and how that incident occurred.

However, it is quite certain that it was a period of wartime in our history. Other famous names are Kirdung Lidung (Bogu nane ke kirdung lidung), which is a big rock, and Tarung Gitbung (Bogu Nane ke tarung gitbung), which is a natural or humanmade canal used as a path by our ancestors.

All Adi historians inevitably recalled (Yayi buluk dongkung gidakem, yayi bulu Jaanbo Nyige king tuge lento)’ (our forefather, had to cross over Jaanbo Nyige for migration).

Seeing is believing. Somewhere deep down in my heart, I felt that it was in a way staying connected with the great parent migration route of the past. And not least, it brings back a sense of nostalgia, takes us to old memories, and stirs the unforgettable history of our people. They must have faced horrendous and insurmountable miseries, fought nature as well as animals’ vagaries, and yet they survive old odds.

We saw Jaanbo village and Jaanbo Nugong (the Siang river’s great bend near Jaanbo village) which is about 20 kms away from Bomdo village road junction. The landscape of the area and its scenic beauty was so awesome and mesmerizing that our hearts rejoiced with contentment while our minds wondered how thoughtful almighty god is. From its appearance, the mighty Siang river, the mightiest river of the Indian subcontinent, might have taken at least a hundred thousand years or more to cut into a rocky mountain to reach its present stage. And the Siang river in all probability might have witnessed the sacred history of our race, its evolution, migration, and wars, also the history of the Earth; but we have no way to know it unless it can tell its own story to us or we find a method to know it.

There are endless natural wonders, and it continues to amaze me, and I wonder if one day the Siang river could open her silent secret, but only if we are capable to listen to his talk (the Siang is a male river).

We got down at Jaanbo village for a photo shoot at the road crossing point, and to our utter shock, within a few minutes, we experienced an abrupt change of temperature, which was spine-chilling due to an icy cold wind wave sweeping over the village.

Akeng Nijo and his party hosted a gluttonous lunch party on the bank of the Nyikgong river for ABK delegates. We were overwhelmed by the lavish treatment and hospitality in a far place where we didn’t find a man even in kilometre of kilometres road. Akeng and his team were exceptionally good hosts and we saluted them for their hard work on behalf of the ABK.

After having had our lunch, our journey continued and we reached Migging, a circle headquarters perched on top of a mountain ridge, and thereafter our journey was mostly a downward ride.

Our serpentine journey was finally over; we reached Tuting resting on a beautiful valley of an unexpected vast expanse of open slope and flatland. At Tuting, our hosts were Mr and Mrs Babo Medo. We are truly grateful to them for their hospitality and kindness. Mr and Mrs Gellong Medo – prominent social leaders of the area – invited us for a sumptuous breakfast, and Mr and Mrs Tayi Pangu hosted a lovely and finger-licking dinner for us.

We are less interested in the history of our migration when we were young, but as we grow older, our inclination for research to find out our route of migration, history, beginning of our race, culture, and tradition grow beyond our domain. Perhaps this is why our culture, tradition, and belief live on and survive, despite the onslaught of an alien culture, the ups and downs of the society’s history from time to time.

We had already chalked out our programme and started our journey from Itanagar to Tuting on 13 January, 2014 and reached there on 15 January, 2014. At around 3:30 pm, we were received by the reception committee of ABK at Tuting general ground and registered ourselves as delegates.

Not wasting much time, Hanggung and I rushed to the Tuting ADC’s residence to obtain permission to visit Kepang La on 16 January, 2014. RD Thungon, the then ADC of Tuting, was so kind and helpful. He wired a message quickly to the ITBP, who were manning the border, waiting for our visit the next day.

Hitum Bukrung is a deep gorge on a small tributary. It is a historically known name and is located between Tuting and Gelling.

On 16 January, 2014 we left Tuting for Gelling to see Kepang La at around 8:30 am and reached the ITBP camp at around 11:30 hours, which is approximately 1,400 metres above mean sea level. We were greeted by ITBP men with fresh cold water from their camp. The officer-in-charge informed us that our time to visit Kepang La was up and they couldn’t allow us to go ahead despite our having permission.

It seems that the Chinese patrolling party coming near the international border by afternoon is a regular feature. Therefore, any incident could occur, and to prevent any unwarranted incident, they take precautionary measures. We agreed, for when it comes to life, security and safety are of paramount importance and there is no point in compromise. However, after thorough discussion and head counting, they agreed to take us to the nearest point of the border on the condition that we must not make too much noise and further insist on not moving beyond a point to prevent provoking Chinese border guards if they detect us moving in a large group.

I was given the responsibility of the leader of my team of 22 members and we had initially five members.

From the present road point to Kepang La, the distance is approximately 5 to 6 kms walk and its steepness is about a 45-degree angle. It may take two to three hours or more depending on the person’s ability to climb uphill and on the return journey it took just one and a half hours to back to the road point. (Now our road almost reached the international boundary.)

The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) men were cheerful and ready to do their duties but frankly, I was distressed by the harsh and pitiable living conditions faced during their stay in the border area. Their problem was they didn’t have a proper mobile connection, or good living quarters to stay in. The mobile signal from Tuting frequently comes and goes off often, therefore the ITBP boys invented a new technique. They pitched a two feet long stick on the ground and cut plastic water or Pepsi bottle, put on a stick head, and kept their mobile on the bottle and watched. Whenever signal appeared on the screen, then they would talk to their families and friends. They told us about the tough living conditions the ITBP boys hang on to protect us and themselves from enemies. How can we expect good service from them when their living conditions are pathetic and miserable? In the last nine years or so, lots of improvement has happened. The government of India must provide the best facilities to our jawans to ward off any enemy misadventure.

In the aftermath of the conference, on the way back, we were given a grand welcome at Pubuk – a small village – with much fanfare and enthusiasm. I’m told that the moment the Pubuk villagers learned that I was also attending the ABKs’ Tuting conference, they decided to invite me. There were lots of phone calls to visit their village, but on my part, I couldn’t find a suitable time to visit their village. However, I made a promise to visit them on my way back from Tuting conference.

The people of Pubuk village were eagerly waiting to see me because I happened to clear their village file pending for more than one and half years by obtaining government approval to recognise their village. The villagers were highly excited and thrilled by my action. It all started at the request of Dunggoli Libang, a prominent public leader of Upper Siang district. One day he came to the office and said, “Brother, my leader and I are unable to make Pubuk a government-recognised village and therefore the villagers are facing great hardship to get potable water, road, and other government facilities, etc.”

As per his version, the file couldn’t be cleared by his leader due to some technical conditions attached to it. After the recognition of their village by the government, they were on the lookout for me, because I did help them without their request and I never expected anything in return for my voluntary services even in the wildest of my dream.

It was my routine duty to help people wherever possible to let them overcome many conditions imposed on them in the aegis of office rules.

On reaching their village, the people of Pubuk gave us a warm welcome, with a smile on everybody’s face, and showered bountiful love on my friend Hangung, Yasum Yaying, Yamek Taggu, Yamum Tamuk Siram, and myself We were nearly crying out of excitement, overwhelmed by their love with humility and grace. We shall never forget the kindness and love showered upon us.

We were aghast by the sorry state of affairs of a very important strategic defence road that has been neglected over the years. We were told that the road hadn’t improved over time and it might have worsened over the past few years. It is ironic that, although the area was represented by the longest-serving chief minister of the state, the state of affairs more or less remained the same for the people. And our finding was not very encouraging too. The Pasighat to Tuting road is supposed to be one of the most important adventurous tourist circuit routes for rafting, angling, and birds and animal watching in the Mouling National Park. And not only this; it can be an important international trade route between India and China if the government of India’s Look East (now Act East) policy comes up with renewed vigour. And yet, woefully, in this part of the world, development hasn’t kept up with the expectation of the people for so long.

For us, it only makes sense to sow the seeds now to reap the benefit in the future. If, however, casual trends are adopted continuously by the leader and people in power, we do not expect the road to turn around it into a tourist dream circuit route in a few years, and perhaps it may take much longer time than necessary.

Tourism can boost and infuse life into the rural economy is a well-understood theory and good to listen to. However, people are unable to sell their rich agriculture and horticulture produces in the market is also a reality that we cannot wish away. Also, what is worrisome is our rural economy is in the doldrums because they can’t sell them products because of poor networks.

Seriously, we need a market linkage and the dots haven’t been yet connected. Alas! The luck of the people plummets to a new low when cash crops and fruits failed to bring smiles to them utterly and their efforts go in vain and become a white elephant. What can people do except let their agriculture and horticulture produce rotten in the field with helpless feelings about why on earth they slogged so hard for the worthless effort which brings no solace to their economic hardship? How does one react, except with feelings of helplessness and resentment? However, there is one ray of hope and people understand that the transformation of this tourist circuit route would begin to have ripple effects ultimately leading them to improve their economy and living standard, but when would that happen is a million-dollar question and is still a distant dream.

A big country like India with a bigger population can generate at least 1 trillion dollars in internal tourism in the next decade. If Arunachal can harness at least 10 percent of its internal India’s tourism revenue, then it can surely boost our economy and living standard. The ABK’s main mission was to reconnect its people and to renew this tourist circuit route, thereby setting the ball rolling. The aim was to purely pull our ideas together to awaken our leaders and people together and appeal to them not to put hurdles on any development project. People must understand that what we lack is the development and in terms of resources we have abundant natural resources to supplement our needs.

The ABK as an organisation is a new instrument for the transformation of our people and binds them to face winds of changes together and it’s coming whether we like it or not. And hopefully, the winds of changes activated by the ABK would begin to blow to lift the veil of darkness in the Adi belt and the rest of Arunachal Pradesh. The ABK being the torchbearer and agent of transformation of the Adi is spearheading a new paradigm shift to welcome any tourists from any corner of the world, keeping in mind the true Indian tradition of treating and welcoming guests as god – Atithi Devo Bhava (The writer is the Deputy Commissioner, East Siang District)