Itanagar: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students` Union (AAPSU) has demanded the state government to set up Refugee Affairs Department to deal with the decades-old impasse in the state.
The apex students` body has also demanded the government to initiate measures to send the Chakma and Hajong refugees back to their designated blocks.
A joint inspection of the refugee settlement areas of Changlang and Lohit districts carried out by the AAPSU and Joint High Power Committee (JHPC) comprising members of central government, state government and representatives of refugees, concluded yesterday.
It took the team three days to complete the survey in Diyun area of Changlang district.
Diyun town possessed highest number of refugees amounting to more than thirty thousand.
As per the inspection, more than 80 per cent of forest reserved areas has been occupied and maximum areas of reserved forest was destroyed by the refugees who have settled in the territory.
The AAPSU asked the refugees to vacate the forest areas unconditionally saying further destruction would not be tolerated."
Deputy Principal, Chief Conservator of Forests, D Gogoi who accompanied the team said lack of man power posed as main weaknesses of the department to check illegal invasion of refugees inside the reserved areas.
"Repeated violation of forest laws despite several warning from the department is a major challenge posed by the refugees against the department," he added.
The AAPSU has demanded the state government to immediately conduct a massive eviction drive against illegal settlers inside the forest reserved areas, in a bid to stop further destruction of forests.