TINSUKIA: On rehabilitation issue, people of two forest villages of Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, including a large number of women led by Tinsukia District Committee of TMPK (Takam Mising Porin Kebang) gheraoed Tinsukia Divisional Forest Office (Wildlife) in its second phase of agitation programme on Monday.
The protesters have been camping since a fortnight at Borguri on the outskirts of Tinsukia while denouncing the apathetic attitude of the government. They demanded immediate rehabilitation of Laika and Dodhia forest villages in the proposed 470 ha land forest land of Owguri area of Upper Dihing Reserve Forest Division.
In a memorandum to the PCCF Assam through DFO (WL) Tinsukia, the TMPK stated that the rehabilitation of two forest villages remained a vexed issue since 1999 after Dibru-Saikhowa Wildlife Sanctuary was upgraded to national park, thereby depriving them of their basic right, even as a government notification No FRW.61/86/8 of 26.9.1986 mandated that villagers of Laika and Dodhia were permitted to continue to reside till being shifted elsewhere outside the then sanctuary.
Later, a committee constituted by PCCF and headed by Conservator of Forest, Eastern Assam Circle Jorhat forwarded a proposal to rehabilitate Laika and Dodhia forest villages in Owguri area. But the Forest Department allegedly did not take necessary steps to rehabilitate the people of these two forest villages, the memo stated, the copy of which was also sent to the State Forest and Environment Minister.