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Joint patrol mooted at inter-State meeting on boundary row

By Correspondent

NORTH LAKHIMPUR, Sept 5 - A meeting involving the district administrations of Lakhimpur and Papum Pare of Arunachal Pradesh mooted that peace talks and joint patrolling in the boundary areas between the two States be conducted. The meeting was held at Yupia, the district headquarters of Papum Pare on Friday in the wake of a brawl between people across the boundary over cattle grazing in Lakhimpur�s Phulbari area. The meeting was attended by Lakhimpur DC Dr Jeevan B along with his counterpart from Papum Pare.

The Lakhimpur DC stressed the need for more peace committee meetings and joint patrolling to defuse tension among the people in the inter-State boundary areas. He said the officers across the boundary should work for the benefit of the people and maintain coordination among them to tackle any eventuality. This would involve sensitising the people to be restrained and give importance to peace and harmony. The same views were also expressed by the Deputy Commissioner of Papum Pare who also talks and joint patrolling to prevent the flaring up of violence.

It may be mentioned that there was an attack during a peace meeting between villagers from Assam and Arunachal Pradesh at No. 1 Dhemagarh village in Phulbari under Nowboicha Revenue Circle of Lakhimpur district on September 1. A woman from Arunachal Pradesh attacked one Prasanta Sonowal from Assam which led to tension in the area. This was preceded by the alleged assault on one Likha Nikh, a villager from Buka Basti of Papum Pare district at Dhemagarh Tiniali by villagers on the Assam side on August 31.

People from Buka village in Arunachal Pradesh take the road through Dhemagarh in Assam to visit other places of their district as there is no road inside their boundary. However, authorities in Lakhimpur say that the Papum Pare authorities have been constructing an 18.60-km- long PMGSY road on its encroached land since March this year from Lekhi to Buka-II village through Ranga Reserve Forest. Forest officials from Lakhimpur had earlier intervened and stopped the road construction near Bogolee Reserve Forest under Harmutty Forest Range.

Buka Basti-Dhemagarh area on the inter-State boundary on Ranga Reserve Forest is one of the hotspots of the land dispute between the two States.

People from Dhemagarh have been complaining that villagers from Buka Basti have been encroaching their land by settlements and cattle grazing. Similar claims have also been made by villagers in Buka Basti of encroachment.

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