YUPIA, Jan 24: The Banderdewa Circle Border Committee (BCBC) organised a mass rally from Banderdewa to the deputy commissioner’s office here, demanding the exclusion of Banderdewa, Tani Happa and Pichola villages from the joint re-verification as recommended by the regional committee of Papum Pare and Lakhimpur districts for the demarcation of the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh boundary.
Addressing the gathering, a resident of Banderdewa said it is very clear that the public of the three villages is against the decision of the regional committee of Papum Pare (Arunachal) and Lakhimpur (Assam) districts.
However, the public will support the state government only if the decision on the boundary demarcation is framed according to a survey of the Indian map of 1951, which is the constitutional boundary between the two states.
He also said the DC and the regional committee members should refrain from disrupting the peaceful co-existence of the public from Assam and Arunachal along the border.
“Para 4 of the Namsai Declaration clearly states that Banderdewa and Pichola village are within the constitutional boundary of Arunachal Pradesh, and shall remain with the state. But the minutes of the regional meeting is completely different,” he said.
BCBC Chairman Tame Achung said the members of the committee met with the DC regarding the matter but nothing positive came out of it. He said the reply from the DC was that the minutes of the regional committee are ‘final’, and cannot be altered.
Achung made it clear that unless the matter is addressed by the regional committee or the state government, the public of the area will fight until their demands are fulfilled.
“All 28 villages should not suffer from the illogical and immature decision of the DC and his counterparts. Therefore, Education Minister Taba Tedir, MLA Techi Kaso and MLA Tana Hali should immediately jump into the matter, and accordingly resolve it,” he said, adding that the BCBC objects to the decision of the regional committee.
Meanwhile, DC Sachin Rana told reporters that he had a meeting with the public earlier, wherein he suggested submitting an official representation on the matter so that it can be forwarded to the state government.
Highlighting the altercation based on the Namsai declaration, he said that members of the Assam regional committee formally requested to reconsider the matter so that it could be further discussed. He did not deny that Banderdewa, Tani Happa and Pichola villages under Banderdewa Circle fall under Arunachal Pradesh according to the survey of the Indian map of 1951.
“We are working in the best interest of the public of Papum Pare district and the state. Also, we have been accompanied by the locals and officials during the verification of land prior to the final framing of the minutes of the regional meeting,” he said.
Rana said the rights of the public residing in the border areas of the district will be protected in every possible way. Therefore, he appealed to the villagers to put forth their respective grievances to the CO or the ADC.
“Moreover, the minutes submitted to the state government by the regional committee are not the final decision. The matter will be studied and verified before any final judgment is made on the issue,” he said.