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Eviction staff dies in firing

- Police and forest team come under rebel fire

Nagaon, July 20: A casual employee of Karbi Anglong autonomous council's forest department was killed today after suspected militants opened fire for the second day today as soon as the hill district administration resumed its eviction drive in Doldoli reserve forest in Assam along the Nagaland border.

Arpan Borua, 35, and Minarson Engti, 32, were in the joint team of Karbi Anglong police and forest department which restarted the eviction drive around 9am today.

The site, 45km from Karbi Anglong district headquarters Diphu, is under west division of the forest department where thousands of Naga families allegedly built huts within the Doldoli reserve forest in the past few days and cut a path through the forest connecting Nagaland with their village.

Like yesterday, suspected militants started firing on the joint team soon after the drive began again this morning. Both Arpan and Minarson were seriously injured in the attack.

They were shifted to Diphu civil hospital where Arpan died.

The team carried out the drive amid the firing and dismantled some of the houses erected within the reserve forest area and stopped the drive for the day.

Exchange of fire between militants and Karbi Anglong police which began yesterday, continued all day today.

Chief conservator of forests Abhijit Rabha said the eviction drive was on within the reserve forest area and would be continued.

Rabha along with senior department officers and Karbi Anglong police are monitoring the eviction drive.

A number of Karbi organisations have urged Dispur to take concrete steps to find a permanent solution to the border problem.

Recently, the leadership of Karbi Longri NC Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF) moved New Delhi and urged the NDA government to chalk out a solution to the border dispute.

The general secretary of KLNLF, Rejek Dera, today told this correspondent that apathy of Dispur has made the border issue more critical and demanded an immediate solution for the greater interest of peace and development in the region.


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