Information source: Yoafu and Motika, both in their early 60s. collected informally at Miao in April 2016.
This incident occurred between 1983-84 (difficult to elicit exact dates, elderly people usually relate one incident with another incident!), at Miphoto village. Miphoto village is what the Namdapha authorities called “80th Mile”. For them all Lisu villages within the disputed area are just miles, whereas for us all are names with deep emotionally rooted villages. On the other side of this village is a river called Lashitsilo. This was where ration dropped for the Srijitga expedition team in 1961.
At the time of this incident there were five families living there.
A forest personnel by his second name, Saikia came to demarcate the easternmost end of their Namdapha. He began cutting the boundary. Some of the villagers went and scolded. “Jungle me chwe-chwe kya karta hai”. (Chwe-chwe is the sound of cutting jungle in Lisu). Those forest people stopped and he gave in writing that he would not come again to disturb the boundary. This was kept with Phuyedwe.
But then the Circle Officer stepped in. Rajesh Paniang was the CO. He brought police personnel with him. Came to the boundary site. Snatched back the letter from Saikia and forcefully started to cut the jungle as boundary for the Namdapha.
Villagers went to protest. But the four of the five houses were burnt except the house of one who pulled out his dao. Several people were beaten – Late Aphujo who protested when his house was being burned. Another two student leaders were beaten too – Late Hoyofu and Phuyedwe.
Do we forget this? No. This is quite alive in our memories and we are not going to forget what the Namdapha has been torturing our community.