Tension at Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border over road construction in disputed territory
A culvert under construction was set on fire and there were unconfirmed reports of shots being fired in the air.
An ongoing road project in a disputed territory at the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border led to a culvert under construction being set on fire, The Indian Express reported on Thursday. There were unconfirmed reports of shots being fired in the air as well.
The incident took place on Wednesday evening, only days after the chief ministers of the two states met on Monday to discuss a “permanent solution” to the border dispute
Work on the Likabali-Durpai road project is being carried out under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana in Arunachal’s Lower Siang district. Assam claims that parts of the road fall under the state’s Dhemaji district.
A culvert undergoing construction, close to Hime village in Lower Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh was set ablaze by “miscreants from the Assam side”, The Indian Express quoted officials as saying. The incident reportedly prompted “firing in the air” by locals from the Arunachal Pradesh side, but the authorities did not confirm this
District officials from Dhemaji in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh’s Lower Siang reached the spot and said the incident was a minor one and the situation was “under control”.
The Assam Police stopped construction work at the spot on Tuesday claiming it was within the state’s territory and also burnt down a culvert, Arunachal24.in reported.
Dhemaji district’s Superintendent of Police Ranjan Bhuyan said that the Likabali-Durpai road project touches parts of disputed territory, according to The Indian Express.
“The day before yesterday [Tuesday], our team stopped one such construction,” Bhuyan was quoted as saying. He added that the police have stopped construction in the past as well.
According to Superintendent of Police of Lower Siang district Kushal Pal Singh, some stretches of the road are disputed and there was an argument between the Assam Police villagers of Hime on Tuesday. Singh said that after the argument, “miscreants” from the Assam side set a culvert ablaze.