RFO notice served to rural villages in Gumto and Kimin circle has created panic among the villagers, state govt intervention sought

ITANAGAR, A notice served by the range forest officer, Harmuty range, the government of Assam to the villagers of Belo, Lora, Buka, and Gumto under Papum Pare district to vacate the alleged forest land within 15 days of issuing of notice has created panic in the district. As per the report, the Assam Forest officials started serving notices in these villages from Thursday onwards.

“They come into villages to paste notices when people are not around. None of the villagers have received notices as it has been served by the Assam government and we are the citizens of Arunachal,” said GPC Belo Lora Taba Simon. “People have been living here since time immemorial even before NFEA was created. Also, SC has directed both the states to maintain the status quo and we are strictly abiding by the SC ruling. But Assam Forest officials continue to harass us with such kind of bullying tactics,” he added.

The ZPC Papum Pare Chukhu Bablu has alleged that Assam Forest officials are working against the joint declaration made by the Chief Minister of both Assam and Arunachal to work out an out-of-court settlement. “Both the CM has announced to look for a solution beyond the court. Already a process has been started in Arunachal by forming committees. Assam forest officials are provoking by issuing notices,” he said.

The ZPC further warned that if Assam officials attempt to destroy properties, it will create a law and order problem. He appealed to the government to look into the issue seriously.

The ZPM Kimin Bamang Yayu stated that the patience of people living along the Assam-Arunachal boundary is being tested by the Assam Forest official.

“This kind of repeated threatening and intimidation should stop. This is complete harassment and people are fed up with it. This fresh notice has scared the people. The Assam forest department should not interfere in our area,” she said.

“we the tribals are peace loving people and always respect Assam as our big brother and they should equally do so and love us, we are not living in the area for few year but since time immoral and our fore father has also died in these places, how can we evicted, if the Assam Forest official have any problems they should contact with the counterpart in spite of provoking, the rural people and serving with notice of eviction which is creating panic” she added.   

The president of All Arunachal Contractor Welfare Association (AACWA) Nabam Akin informed that people are now living in fear due to a notice served by the Assam Forest Department.

“Arunachal is facing threats from both China and Assam. Both want to capture our territories,” he said. Further, he said if Assam officials forcefully try to illegally remove the structure, the locals might resort to any means to protect their properties. “There is a potential for serious law and order problems. Assam should respect SC order and maintain the status quo,” he added. 

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