A pregnant woman protestor, who participated in the ongoing agitation demanding rehabilitation of 1,480 families of Laika and Dodhia forest villages died at Assam Medical College Hospital (AMCH) on Friday.

The deceased has been identified as 24-year-old Kusmita Morang.

Kusmita was rushed to AMCH three days back in a serious condition after her health suddenly deteriorated at the makeshift camp in Tinsukia near the deputy commissioner’s office.

Kusmita Morang was the wife of Bisnu Morang of Dodhia Kuligaon.

The protesters have set up relief camps at Lezaihola Borguri to pressurize the district administration for fulfilling their demands.

Radhika Chungrang, a woman protester said, “Kusmita was protesting with us in the camp for the last several days.”

“She was pregnant and her condition suddenly deteriorated in the camp. She was rushed to Tinsukia civil hospital where the doctors referred her to AMCH in Dibrugarh. Blood came out of her nose when she was admitted to AMCH,” she said.

Chungrang said, “Our protest will go on till our demands are not fulfilled. If the government fails to rehabilitate within January 31 we will boycott the upcoming Assembly election,” Chungrang said.

Earlier, Reboti Pao, a 55-year-old woman protester, died after she returned home.

The two villages, which are located inside the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, have been the settlement of those families who were displaced by the great earthquake of 1950.

The villagers, who belong to the indigenous Mising tribe, are mostly displaced people from Dhemaji and Dibrugarh districts.

They have been residing in the two forest villages for the last 70 years.

However, since the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 prohibits any kind of human settlement within a national park, no development has been carried out in the two villages.

December 30, 2020, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal constituted a committee to find a logical and everlasting solution for the rehabilitation of the households of Laika and Dodhia villages.

The chief minister asked the environment & forest and revenue departments to permanently rehabilitate the families by January 31.

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com