LAKHIMPUR: The agitation programme initiated by the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) against the proposed coal mining project at the Dehing-Patkai Reserve Forest continued in Lakhimpur district. Synchronizing with the other parts of the State, the Dhakuakhana regional body of the organization under Lakhimpur district committee also initiated protest programme strongly opposing the Union Government's nod to conduct the coal mining project in the reserve forest. Led by Dhakuakhana regional unit AASU vice-president Mriganka Dutta, general secretary Swaraj Sankar Gogoi, the activists of the organization staged demonstration in Dhakuakhana town strictly maintaining social distancing. The protesters displayed placards demanding protection of the Dehing-Patkai Reserve Forest, which is considered to be the Amazon of the East.
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 Union 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.