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States » East

About 400 Chakmas from Arunachal take shelter in Tripura forest

Agartala, Feb 2 (UNI) About 400 people of Chakma tribe in Arunachal Pradesh have put up tents and taken shelter inside the reserved forest at Shantipur village in Kanchanpur of North Tripura for over a week.
This sudden inflow of people, who claimed to be from the homeless minority in Arunachal Pradesh, is believed to be a nefarious design of the local gang of land grabbers. Kanchanpur is facing the second phase of internal influx from the neighbouring state.
About 40,000 Bru inmates of Mizoram have been living in six make shift camps of Kanchanpur since 1997. Despite efforts by the Central Government, repatriation has not taken place rather the load of displaced people and complications are increasing day by day.
The arrival of homeless Chakma families in the reserved forest has triggered reaction among the locals.
However, official sources said that the district administration has decided to start eviction drive against the illegal occupants of forest land and they have already been advised thrice to move out from the forests.
“If they do not close their tent and vacate the land, the administration will dismantle their tents in a day or two following all legal rules and universal framework. We shall not allow such a thing to continue further and investigation has also started against the persons who had entered illegally,” said Kanchanpur Sub Divisional Magistrate A Baidya.
He, however, pointed out that a large number of teak trees worth Rs 2 Crore had been chopped off by the occupants for erecting their tents. When villagers noticed it and reported it to the forest department and civil administration, 400 people had occupied the land by then.
The district magistrate of North Tripura has reviewed the situation.
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