Karbi Anglong Administration Asserts Land Encroachment By Nagaland

Diphu April 4: In response to a recent land encroachment in the interstate borders between Nagaland and Meghalaya, the District Administration of Assam’s Karbi Anglong autonomous district leaped into action yesterday.

In the reported incidence of land encroachment in the border area adjacent to Nagaland, hundreds of acres of reserved forest area administered by Karbi Anglong ‘West Division Forest’ and under the control of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council have been domesticated by encroachers from the Dimapur district of neighbouring Nagaland.

Executive Magistrate Notes Incursions

“The area where actual infringement is going on is flanking the Sankar Tila border outpost of Assam police and the Dhansiri river. The miscreants are using earth cutters and trucks for reclaiming the reserve forest area, they have constructed lots of fabricated houses already in the previously occupied areas, they are operating within the vicinity of the BOP now. Additional Superintendent of police, Karbi Anglong and Divisional Forest Officer, West division forest also took stock of the situation. Many border demarcation pillars have been erected, the armed police force present inside the BOP has been instructed to take stern action if the situation demands.” Mukul Kathar, the executive magistrate in charge of yesterday’s official enquiry into the disputed area said.

Long Term Encroachment

Encroachment of forest land by intruders from the neighbouring state has been occurring here for a long time, due to the jaded attitude of the forest authority and the land revenue department which functions under the KAAC. On some previous occasions, when the matter of land encroachment came up in the Assam Assembly, the forest department counteracted, by denying acknowledging the fact.

Until today, this forest division has failed to construct an all weather road through the territory of Assam to connect Sankar Tila BOP.

The team of police and the Magistrate had to reach the disputed place by travelling 2 kilometres through Rangapahar defence area of Dimapur district of Nagaland yesterday.

SDO Bokajan Ignored The Threat

The disputed area, although civilly administered by SDO (Civil) Bokajan, he hardly initiated any action until he was informed by the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Diphu; the small detachment of 26 armed police is constantly under threat of being overpowered by the large number of encroachers who allegedly enjoy full support of ultra outfits in Nagaland.

In another event of the border row, authority of Umwang locality of Hamren subdivision, in the western part of Karbi Anglong district is alleged to have committed atrocities on several village headmen residing on the Meghalaya side (in Ribhoi district) on the issue of setting up of an interstate check gate. The area where the dispute has arisen is close to Umroi airport, in Meghalaya.

Negotiating A Settlement

To settle the row, Deputy Commissioner of Karbi Anglong P. Buragohain held a meeting with his Ribhoi counterpart at Umwang today. According to information received, both sides have agreed to maintain self-possession and settle the dispute through negotiation.

Sushanta Roy
Sushanta Roy is a journalist in Assam, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora of Assam, and the things that affect them.