Tiger camp

Itanagar, June 09: An anti-poaching camp in Arunachal Pradesh’s Namdapha National Park and Tiger Reserve has been destroyed by a mob, leading to the launch of an operation to apprehend the culprits.

The conflict between forest officials and the Yobin community, residing in and around the reserve, has been ongoing. The attack occurred just before an official program to observe World Environment Day, with approximately 150 individuals involved in the incident.

Tiger camp

On June 5, the Burma Nallah camp of the Forest Department, situated in the 40th Mile area along the Miao-Vijaynagar Road, was targeted by a group of attackers. An FIR lodged at the Miao police station identified 10 individuals, including seven women, as the primary culprits. Atasa Yobin of Gandhigram led the attack, allegedly planned by Ngwazosa Yobin during a meeting held on June 4.

The attackers face charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including criminal conspiracy, criminal trespass, mischief, robbery, obstruction of public servants, and criminal intimidation.

According to the FIR, the assailants first disconnected the wireless telegraphy set, seized the mobile phones of forest personnel, and proceeded to vandalize the camp, including a watchtower. They threatened the staff with dire consequences if they did not vacate the premises immediately. Fearful for their lives, the forest personnel fled the location.

The conflict stems from a boundary dispute between the Forest Department and the Yobin community. In 2022, the Yobin settlers were evicted from the 40th Mile area, but they assert that the Forest Department encroached upon their ancestral land under the pretext of conserving Namdapha.

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The Yobins claim that the department expanded its reach up to the 80th Mile without the consent of local villagers, thus bringing several Yobin villages under the jurisdiction of the Namdapha Tiger Reserve.

Ngwazosa Yobin, the president of the Yobin Welfare Society, urged the government to intervene in the long-standing boundary dispute and emphasized that action should not be taken against the villagers involved in the Burma Nallah violence. The society seeks a resolution to the dispute between the Forest Department and the Yobin community.

Tiger camp

The destruction of the anti-poaching camp in Namdapha National Park and Tiger Reserve highlights the ongoing conflict between forest officials and the Yobin community. The attack has raised concerns about the boundary dispute and allegations of encroachment on Yobin ancestral land.

Resolving this dispute will require government intervention to ensure the conservation of the reserve while addressing the concerns of the local community. Efforts to restore peace and maintain the delicate balance between wildlife conservation and the rights of indigenous communities are crucial for the sustainable management of Arunachal Pradesh’s natural resources.