LAKHIMPUR: The Lakhimpur District unit of the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) has initiated agitation programme strongly opposing the Union Government's nod to conduct a coal mining project at Dehing-Patkai Reserve Forest. Notably, amid the nationwide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), in its 56th meeting on April 7, through video conferencing under the chair of Prakash Javedkar, the chairman of NBWL and the Minister of Forest, Environment and Climate of India, approved a coal mining project in the Saleki Proposed Reserve Forest, which is a part of Dehing-Patkai Elephant Reserve. The NBWL standing committee discussed the proposal for the use of 98.59 hectares of land of Saleki, proposed for a coal mining project by North Eastern Coal Field, a unit of Coal India Limited, and gave nod to it.
Opposing the issue, the activists of the North Lakhimpur regional unit of the AASU, while strictly maintaining social distancing, staged demonstration on Saturday at Swahid Bakari of North Lakhimpur town by displaying placards with various slogans demanding to save the reserve forest. Similar protest against the same issue was also initiated by the activists of Telahi Kamalaboria regional unit of the organization at Panigaon Chariali on the same day.