Encroachers, illegal settlers and poachers are most frequently used descriptions to the Yobins living in Nibodi and neighboring villages. WebWord dictionary showed encroacher means someone who enters by force in order to conquer. This is not a correct picture. We were in our villages before Namdapha was declared as a National Park cum Tiger Reserve.
SAMPLES THESE TERMS WERE USED AGAINST US:
- Steps on to vacate Namdapha of encroacher by Pisi Zauing (Assam Sentinel). Encroachment or encroachers is used nine times! Very purposive to put us on bad light. For example: “During the face to face meeting with the encroachers… Waii pleaded with the encroachers… at the beginning the encroachers denied… JL Singh implored the encroachers…” Why is it so difficult for news writers and Namdapha to use Yobin or Lisu or at least people of Vijoynagar?
- The Lisus and Namdapha by Additional Deputy Commissioner, Miao (Readers’ Forum of Arunachal Times, 4 October 2011). He mentioned 75 families encroached Namdapha before 1985. He did not stated we were before 1979, because that was the date when Forest people burnt down our houses at Nibodi and carried away all our household implements while our people were at Shidi for an election.
- Now the ball is in the government’s court by The Miao Times (12 October 2011). Some references here “encroachment upon the core areas…the encroachers rejected the land…”
- Takar Marde, Home Minister, (The Assam Sentinel, 4 August 2011) suggested Yobins to stop encroachment over Namdapha Tiger Reserve.
- Declining tiger population, encroachment at Namdhapa Park (Times of India, 20 August 2010). Some strange allegations, “large scale encroachment from the mid-eighties by Lisus, a tribe originating from China, who are good tiger hunters… The reported decline in tiger population is mainly due to encroachment in the buffer zone of the park by 84 families of Lisu tribes from across the border… adopted every possible options to evict the encroachers”.
- Namdapha Tiger Reserve may turn into a Sariska soon (Zee News, 24 March 2012). Big news where Prime Minister had attention and emotional comparison is done. Sariska is a National Park in Rajasthan where tiger was declared non-existing in 2004. Some excerpt: “…February this year were fired upon four rounds in the core area to scare them away by suspected “Lisu poachers”… facing serious threat posed by the illegal settlers (Yobin or Lisu community) in its core area. “
SOME DEFENSE OUR FRIENDS HAVE WRITTEN:
- I envy the animals by Angi Nio Ngwazah (Readers’ Forum of Arunachal Times, 13 Oct 2011). She rightly asked why only Yobin/Lisu are singled out. There are many other tribes around the National Park.
- Live and let live by Aphu A. Yobin (Readers’ Forum of Arunachal Times, 23 Sep 2011). He states that encroachers do not apply to Yobins because we were in before Namdapha was declared a National Park.
Actually, we are not the only one defending. Some visitors who saw our plight have voiced their observations.
These labeling against must change. This is no proper description to an ethnic community when all the wrongdoing was committed by the Namdapha and related authorities. I suggest all of us challenge the authorities in every capacity. Object the use of those terms wherever possible. Be it in newspaper, Facebook, personal visit, or write to them.
Yobin are not encroachers. Yobin are not illegal settlers. Yobin are not poachers.