JORHAT, May 3 � To protect forest land from Naga encroachers in the Tiru Hills Reserve Forest along the Assam-Nagaland border, the Jorhat district administration, in an eviction drive launched last night, demolished till today several huts that were illegally constructed by some villagers of the bordering Mokokchung district.
As the massive occupation of land and residential constructions in the reserve forest posed a threat to the locals of Assam�s Rongkham village, the residents of the localities and Mariani MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi requested Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on several occasions to evict the encroachers, who had even planted some poles of red flags in the entire area to demarcate the inter-State boundary inside the territory of Assam in Jorhat district.
�The encroachers have been evicted. In presence of the magistrate and forest officials, police conducted the eviction drive. The situation is now peaceful in the areas,� said Jorhat Deputy Commissioner Solanki Vishal Vasant.
Expressing gratitude to the Jorhat police and the administration, several villagers of the Rongkham area said that they are now feeling safe after the administration took proper steps to drive away the miscreants, who were allegedly supported by Naga insurgents and encouraged by some officials of the Mokokchung district administration to occupy land in the reserve forest.
Although the Mokokchung administration, following a discussion with the senior officials of the Jorhat district and police, assured of taking back the encroachers to their own Yajang-C village, the Mokokchung administration has not taken any visible action on the ground.
Eyewitnesses of the bordering areas said that the encroachers were guarded by some groups of armed people (suspected to be militants) and Naga police, who refused to go away from the illegally occupied land although the team of forest officials and administrative officers requested them to return.
As the Jorhat Superintendent of Police, Amanjit Kaur, appeared personally and ordered the security personnel to do their assigned works for eviction, the Naga encroachers and their �armed guards� were compelled to retreat to a considerable distance away from the area.
�Several huts were destroyed during the drive. Adequate numbers of security persons were deployed to ensure safety of the people. We are keeping a close eye on the situation. No untoward incident has taken place till now,� the Jorhat SP said.
Though some groups of Naga police were seen intensifying their patrol from locations near the demolished huts, no fresh incident of violation has been reported till the filing of this report.
PTI adds: Security forces have been kept on �high alert� along the Assam-Nagaland border in Jorhat district to prevent any untoward situation.
�Security forces from both the States were kept on high alert� so that no third force could enter either side for creating problem, the Jorhat SP said.
She said the police have received reports of local residents from both the sides being prepared to fight with weapons like bow, arrow, spears and guns at Rongkham area under the Teok police station.
Additional forces comprising a special task force, police commandos and troops were deployed and the Assam Police have set up seven temporary camps near the entry and exit points from Nagaland in Rongkham since last evening, she said.