Likabali-Durpai Road Project in Arunachal's Lower Siang Escalates Border Dispute with Assam

Reported by

Emilo Yanthan

Legal Data by

Anmol Gupta, Mukta Joshi

Edited by

Moushumi Sharma

Updated by

Published on

March 24, 2022

March 24, 2022

Updated on

March 24, 2022

Location of Conflict

Hime Village

Dhemaji district, Assam

Lower Siang

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Roads

Inter-state border dispute

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

ha

Starting Year

2022

State

Arunachal Pradesh

Sector

Infrastructure

The Likabali-Durpai road project in Lower Siang district in Arunachal Pradesh has become the bone of contention between the state and Assam. The latter claims parts of the road falls in the state’s Dhemaji district and has, therefore, opposed it. Dhemaji shares a 150-kilometre-long boundary with Lower Siang.

The project is being carried out under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. The 65-kilometre road will connect Likabali town with Durpai village and will pass through Hime village along the Assam-Arunachal border. The road has been under construction since 2019 and was slated for completion by 2021 but got delayed due to the land dispute.

Tension between the two states over the project escalated when ‘alleged unidentified miscreants’ from Assam set fire to a culvert under construction on January 26, 2022, at Gogamukh in Dhemaji. According to a news report, a labour camp was also destroyed and a motorbike belonging to a labourer was set on fire. The arson in broad daylight angered the local residents, who reportedly rushed to the spot with guns to chase away the miscreants.

Following the incident, officials from both the districts visited the area of conflict on January 27 and stated that they had the situation under control and that the Assam and Arunachal governments were in talks to resolve the issue amicably. On January 24, the chief ministers of the two states had a meeting where they decided to conduct a ground-level survey on the status of the inter-state boundary to come up with a ‘permanent solution’ to the border dispute.

Tobom Dai, general secretary of the All Arunachal Pradesh Students' Union (AAPSU), told LCW that a team of the students' body had visited the area and found that the road was within the jurisdiction of Arunachal Pradesh. He added that the construction of the road would benefit both the states and hence developmental work, even if in a disputed area, should not be stopped. According to him, the two states have held several rounds of dialogues to find an amicable solution to the long-standing border dispute.

The Gogamukh incident is not the first instance of skirmish between the two neighbouring states. The border area has witnessed frequent flare-ups, with clashes first reported in 1992. In August 2021, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma informed the State Assembly that there were 1,200 areas of dispute along the border with Arunachal Pradesh.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand to cancel the project

Refusal to give up land for the project

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Urban

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

150

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

Year of Estimation

2018

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act, 1971
Section 7 and 8 [Formation of the Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh and Territories of the State of Assam]
Constitution of India, 1950
Article 131 [The Supreme Court to have jurisdiction over disputes arising between two or more states]
[In 2018, the Arunachal Pradesh government sanctioned a 65-kilometre road under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, aiming to connect Likabali and Durpai]
[In 2018, the Arunachal Pradesh government sanctioned a 65-kilometre road under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, aiming to connect Likabali and Durpai]
Section 3 [Establishment of the State of Arunachal Pradesh comprising territories previously notified as Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh]
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  5. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  6. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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  7. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Land record discrepancies

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Other harassment

Torching of houses

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Alleged unidentified 'miscreants’ from Assam set fire to a culvert under construction on January 26, 2022, at Gogamukh in Dhemaji. A labour camp was also reportedly destroyed and a motorbike belonging to a labourer was set on fire.

Date of Violation

January 25, 2022

Location of Violation

Hime village

Nature of Protest

Property damage/arson

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Dhemaji District Administration, Assam; and District Administration of Lower Siang, Arunachal Pradesh

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

All Arunachal Pradesh Students' Union

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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