|Row over forest pillars along border|
GUWAHATI, May 14 - Erection of concrete pillars by the State Forest department in a disputed area along the Nagaland border in Jorhat district has triggered a row.
Insisting that the move would encourage encroachments from the Nagaland side, the Congress today demanded action against the Forest officials involved in the act.
The Forest department, on the other hand, has lodged an FIR against unknown “miscreants” who dismantled a pillar erected “along the northern boundary of Dessoi reserve forest at Naginijan area”. The FIR came on a day when local MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi led a group of villagers and dismantled the pillars as a mark of protest.
Deberapara Police have registered a case under sections 447 and 427 of IPC following the FIR by the beat officer of Morongial.
In a statement issued in Guwahati, Opposition leader Debabrata Saikia said the Forest department erected the pillars without consulting the local administration, local villagers or the headmen.
“The inter-state border problem with Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland has been dragging since long. The Supreme Court is yet to give any final verdict in the case. It has been reported that the encroachments in the inter-state border areas are more on forest land than in revenue land. Erection of pillars in the border areas in such a manner without any prior joint survey with the Revenue department is condemnable,” Saikia said.
The Forest department claims that the pillars were erected to demarcate the forest land. The Congress, however, felt that erection of such structures along the border would encourage further encroachments. There have been sharp reactions in the area over the Forest department’s “unwarranted” move.
Saikia demanded departmental action against the forest officials involved in the act.