There was a high level meeting from the wildlife held in Deban with the agenda to relocate the Lisu people from our villages which they claim are under their control. I waited for the news reporter to publish in their paper but I didn’t see. So I have requested Avia, who had attended the meeting to share the minutes of the meeting. Below is a summary. — Liahey
MEETING MINUTES AT DEBAN
Date: 17th Nov 2014
Agenda: “Relocation Of Lisu/Yobin Living In Namdapha Tiger Reserve”.
Chairman: Dusu Shra, CF and FD Namdapha Tiger Reserve.
§ Dr. Yogesh, PCCF, Arunachal
§ Shri T. Mara, Miao ADC
§ DR. H.S. Negi, Inspector General of Forests (NTCA), Delhi
§ Mr Yoaphu Yobin, ZPM Vijoynagar
§ Shri. K. Chithan, Public Leader
§ Dr Rajesh Gopal, Addl. Director General & Member Scy (NTCA), Delhi
§ Shri. C. T. Mein, Parliamentary Scy Env. & Forests, Arunachal Pradesh.
THE VIEWS OF THE SPEAKERS MAY BE SUMMED UP AS UNDER:
ADC, Miao says: We have to Preserve the Wild Life. But do not let the public be put to difficulty. Find a solution.
PCCF, Dr Yogesh narrated how Namdapha was planned since 60s and how many meetings were conducted to shift Yobins out of the park. But the Yobins were not cooperating with the shifting plan.
ZPM, Vijoynagar said: The Yobin face land shortage. First the inhabited villages of Vijoynagar were given to the Settler brothers. Then about 50-60 families’ paddy fields were eroded by Noa-Dehing river off Gandhigram village. Both sides of Gandhigram is Burma with steep mountains. Then the Govt forcibly took away from 80th Mile, living almost no land for the Yobins. The public is forced to forage in more cultivable land.
Inspector General of Forests, Delhi Dr. H.S. Negi says: Namdapha is a world famous one. We have to conserve it. He urged the people to take money (10 lakh per family) and move out of the park. He says there will be no development within the park. He asks the people to think of the future of their children.
Many Yobin/Lisu leaders spoke. Some of the statements were:
Mr Adhusay: The dispute over Namdapha is the doing of authorities. They had forcefully, undemocratically snatched YOBIN’s land from 80th Mile. He named the officers who did this. He also named the villagers who were mercilessly beaten then they protested the demarcation of Namdapha at the 80th Mile.
Mrs Anatsa narrated how Nibodi village (at 52nd Mile M.V Road) was burnt in 1979 by the forest deptt. The villagers were told to assemble in the Church house. When they did so, every house was torched! They became homeless and food-less.
Other YOBIN leaders showed government Gazette documents that places YOBIN’s habitation along Noa- Dehing river since the 1940s. They also showed that it was only on 7th May (Sunday) 1961 that the first Indian agency (7th Assam Rifles in this case) came to Sidi/Gandhigram and flew the tricolor for the first time. This pre-dates YOBIN before Vijoynagar region ever became Indian; which happened only in 1972! This affords YOBINs right over the land.
Addl. Director General & Member Scy (NTCA), Dr. Rajesh Gopal and Paliamentary Scy Env. & Forests, Shri C. T. Mein both observed in the same theme. In essence they said four things: 1) Yobin community cannot be dislodged forcibly. The legal entitlements cannot be discounted with. 2) Staying inside the Sanctuary will hinder development and progress. 3) Namdapha is a world-famous park. We must preserve it. Somebody has to sacrifice it. 4) Keep the meeting/dialogue going. Make a core-group. Take them tours to see other ‘rehabilitated’ villages and let them learn from them.
The meeting then came to end with A F D winding with vote of thanks.