In the wake of the recent encroachment in the Daldali Reserve Forest and the demolition of several border pillars along the Assam-Nagaland border in Karbi Anglong district, local organizations have launched an “Indefinite Economic Blockade” against the neighboring state.
A group of 12 organizations including Karbi Students’ Association (KSA) and Assam Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) launched the blockade banning entry of all goods trucks and commercial vehicles into Nagaland starting from 7 am on Tuesday.
The ‘Indefinite Economic Blockade’ has been clamped in both the highways at Dillai over NH 36 and Sarhiajan over NH 39 in Karbi Anglong.
Both these highways serve as an important route to Nagaland and would create a shortage of essential commodities if the blockade happens to last longer.
The development came after the expiry of an ultimatum served to the Nagaland government to immediately cease encroachment activities in the Daldali Reserve Forest and withdraw all the illegal land pattas issued by the Nagaland government in the Rilan Basti area along the Assam-Nagaland border.
The organisations also demanded the re-installation of seven missing border pillars by the Nagaland government according to the GPS coordinates and warned that in the event of failure by the Nagaland government to resolve the issue peacefully, they would be compelled to impose a blockade by restricting entry of all goods truck into Nagaland.
Encroachment in the Daldali Reserve Forest has long remained the main cause of dispute between Dimapur district in Nagaland and Karbi Anglong district in Assam.
Recently, the Nagaland government had set up two IRBn camps at the interstate Dillai Gate close to Assam and it fuelled further speculations that something was at play.
Moreover, the report of the Nagaland government issuing land pattas inside Assam created an atmosphere of fear and apprehension among the people residing in the area.
Recently, a team of Assam police and Assistant Conservator of Forest, Karbi Anglong Prahlad Kro, who visited the area, noticed substantial destruction of forest inside the Daldali Reserve Forest bordering Nagaland.
The team also noted that several border pillars were missing and many unscrupulous elements were engaged in the clearing of forest in the area holding land pattas ( land registration certificates) issued by the Nagaland government.
Briefing the media, AJYCP, Karbi Anglong district secretary Jitu Phukan said, “We are not imposing a blockade against the Naga people but we are protesting against the failure of the Sarbananda Sonowal-led Assam government at fulfilling their pre-poll promise of safeguarding ‘Jati, Mati and Bheti’ of the Assamese people.”
“The government has also failed to address the decade-long border issues which have remained central in the state since independence. We demand that the state government take cognizance of the prevailing situations and provide a lasting solution to the border issues at the earliest,” he said.
It is very unfortunate that the Nagaland government has issued Land pattas in the Rilan Basti area which falls under the jurisdiction of Assam, Phukan said.
Some unscrupulous elements with aid of the Nagaland administration and Nagaland IRBn have demolished several border pillars and cleared a vast portion of the Daldali Reserve Forest under Karbi Anglong.
“The Nagaland administration is carrying out electrification works and has engaged earth movers for construction of roads into the area which is not admissible,” KSA secretary Thansing Timung alleged.