Published On: Sat, Apr 15th, 2017

Arunachal locals to get compensated 50 years after their lands were acquired during 1962 war

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The long wait of locals in three villages of Arunachal Pradesh is finally over. More than 50 years since their land was acquired by the Indian Army for strategic reasons after India’s war against China in 1962, nearly 152 families of three villages – Senge, Nyukmadung and Lish –perched on mountain slopes and at an altitude of 11,000ft in the State’s West Kameng district, will now be compensated by the Ministry of Defence.

According to official sources, the land was acquired over a period of time after the 1962 war and subsequently the Army built a garrison and some units there. The newly-posted troopers are acclimatised at the garrison and the units before they are deployed to high-altitude forward posts along the India-China border.

The mountain pass Sela, located at 13,700ft, is not far away from the villages. It was at Sela that daring rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat of 4 Garhwal Rifles had fought valiantly against invading Chinese soldiers, keeping them at bay singlehandedly for three days until he had fallen prey to the bullets of the enemies.

Prior to the war, the Army had relatively lesser presence along the 220km stretch between Bomdila, the district headquarters of West Kameng, and the McMahon Line that marks the India-China border in Tawang district. Senge, Nyukmadung and Lish lie some 150km away from the international border.

At the time of the war, the Army had just one division at Bomdila. In Tawang, the force had some units. The Chinese had reached up to Bomdila before retreating. After the war, two Army brigades came up in western Arunachal.

Meanwhile, according to official sources, the amount of compensation will be directly transferred to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries, who are the children of original landowners. Most landowners had died waiting to be compensated.

Handing over a replica cheque of around Rs 54 crore on Thursday, Chief Minister Pema Khandu said the payment of compensation was possible due to the combined efforts of Ministry of Defence, Union minister for home Kiren Rijiju and local MLA Phurpa Tsering.

“The payment of compensation was long-overdue. It’s sad that the villagers had to wait for almost 50 years to be compensated,” Khandu said.

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