CNAPA condemns ‘fake encounter’ of two Muslims by forest guards in Assam’s Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary (Maktoob Media)


By Maktoob Staff

Community Network Against Protected Areas (CNAPA), a coalition of indigenous peoples and forest-dwelling communities, on Tuesday, issued a statement strongly condemning the “fake encounter” of two Muslim youth by armed forest guards in Assam’s Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary.

Jaliluddin and Sameeruddin of Dhingbari Chapari village of Nagaon District were killed on June 22 when they, along with a few other villagers, went to Rowmari Beel wetland to catch fish as part of their traditional livelihood.

“Armed forest guards opened fire on them from all sides without any warning. While others ran away from the spot to save their lives,” CNAPA statement read.

Jaliluddin and Sameeruddin sustained several bullet wounds. Several hours after the incident, both the victims were taken to Nagaon Civil Hospital by the forest department, where they were declared dead.

The coalition observed that the incident is a stark reminder of the systemic violence and human rights abuses unleashed against forest-dependent communities across India under the pretext of “conservation” and demanded an “independent and impartial investigation” into the killings.

“The killings in Laokhowa reflect a pattern of continuous harassment and forced displacements endured by forest communities nationwide. These communities, including those in Dhingbari Chapari village, have historically coexisted with wildlife, relying on the forest for their livelihoods and cultural practices. However, they are increasingly criminalized and displaced in the name of conservation, disrupting their lives and eroding their rights.”

“The incident at Laokhowa is not an isolated one,” it reminded.

This story was originally published in Read the full story here.

Related Articles