Committee opposes move to realign boundaries of 6 villages

ITANAGAR, 8 Feb: Banderdewa Circle Border Committee (BCBC) has strongly opposed and rejected the move for realignment of boundaries of Tani-Happa, Pichola, Banderdewa, Durpang, Tarajuli and Gorubanda.

Stating that the Inter-State Regional Committee for Papum Pare district has agreed to a request made by the Regional Committee for Lakhimpur district for realignment of the six villages based on possession and revenue records during a meeting on nine January here, the BCBC, in a memorandum to  Chief Minister Pema Khandu, demanded that the Namsai Declaration be followed in letter and spirit in resolving boundary issues, particularly in respect of Banderdewa, Pichola, Tarajuli, Tani-Happa, Durpang and Gorubanda.

The committee said that the decision taken in the meeting, particularly in respect of Banderdewa circle should be rejected and that ‘no re-alignment be conducted at Banderdewa, Pichola, Tani-Happa, which, as per the Namsai Declaration, shall remain in Arunachal Pradesh.’

In the memorandum, the committee further stated that while the Inter-State Regional Committee have agreed to the request made by the people from the Assam side, the people of Arunachal Pradesh living in these villages from time immemorial have not been heard, rather they have been ‘cheated, undermined and humiliated’ by the Inter-State Regional Committee by not following the terms and conditions of the Namsai Declaration.

“The people of Banderdewa, Pichola, Gorubanda, Tani-Happa, Tarajuli and Durpang will boycott Inter-State Regional Committees in conducting any further joint verification in these areas as these areas are within the constitutional boundary of Arunachal Pradesh,” the memorandum said.

The committee has threatened to go for an indefinite democratic movement, if its demand is not met.

The committee has also submitted memorandums to the deputy chief minister and the home minister on the issue.

On 24 January, a protest rally was also organized at Papum Pare deputy commissioner’s office opposing the move.

The Namsai Declaration was signed last year after the chief ministers of both the states – Pema Khandu and Himanta Biswa Sarma – held a crucial meeting with the cabinet ministers of the two states in Namsai to “restrict or minimise the boundary disputes between the two states in respect of 123 villages placed before the Local Commission by Arunachal in 2007.

The two CMs agreed in principle to restrict the number of disputed villages to 86 from 123.

 Twenty-eight villages which are within the constitutional boundary of Arunachal will remain with the state. The villages are Doimara, Pichola, Banderdewa, Upper Jumi, Balisori, Lika, Bali, Gogar, Jipu, Pale, Seren, Pam, Old Deka, Nari HQ, Depi, Depi Moli, Detak, Debing, Rayang, Ngorlung, Oyan, Tinali, Kangkong, Hazu Khuti Camp, Sunpura HQ, Mengkeng Miri, Longkhojan and Ranglua.

With respect to Deopani Naga Gaon, Bare Gaon and Ponton Basti, claims were withdrawn by Arunachal and the three villages will remain with Assam.

 “The location of six villages, namely, Khelong, Foot Hill, Tani Happa, Richi Rite, Nyijir Koche and Ngopi could not be located on Assam side. Hence, if these villages exist on Arunachal side, these will continue with Arunachal Pradesh,” the declaration read.