Local residents of Vijaynagar in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh did not allow an Indian Air Force helicopter to land at the Advance Landing Ground on January 23.

State food and civil supply minister Kamlung Mossang said that the locals spread across the ALG runway of Vijaynagar to prevent the landing in protest against the IAF chopper not carrying cardamom produced by them to Miao. “I am told that the local people were upset about the IAF not fulfilling their promise,” the minister said.

Residents of 11 villages near Vijaynagar in eastern Arunachal Pradesh on January 20 cleaned the ALG runway of the grass and moss which had grown due to non-operation by any fixed-wing aircraft since 2016.

The villagers claimed that they cleaned the ALG runway on condition that the IAF choppers which return empty to Miao from Vijaynagar would carry cardamom produced by them, the minister said.

The villagers said they pay Rs 150 for transportation of cardamom to Miao, the nearest town which is about 157-km away due to lack of road connectivity.

No IAF officers were available for comment.

Vijaynagar is not connected to any kind of motorable road. It is the remotest Circle (Tehsil) of Changlang district. The place is surrounded on three sides by Myanmar while the other side is flanked by the large chunk of thick forest of Namdapha National Park. The nearby town is Miao which is 157 km away and take about 6 days walk.

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