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Itanagar fire threatens village

ITANAGAR: The village of Poma near the Arunachal capital was on the verge of being burnt to ashes as a massive forest fire, suspected to have been caused by miscreants or illegal timber dealers, continued to rage unabated in Itanagar.

In a statement issued on Friday, Poma Rillo Youth Welfare Society (PRYWS) said the forest fire, which started from a nearby jungle, is on its way to engulfing the entire village. The organisation claimed that if urgent action was not taken, colossal loss of property would be inevitable.

It further accused the environment and forest department of not taking any initiative to control the inferno, despite many requests to do so. "If the forest fire causes damage to any property in Poma, we will hold the environment and forest department responsible. If, within the next 4 days, the department does not take any step to control the forest fire, we will be compelled to take action. It is matter of survival for us," said PRYWS president Techi Rajen.

Reports said the forest fire had already begun damaging agriculture fields located in a nearby village. The reports add that if the fire was not controlled immediately, it would cause huge damage to Poma. Meanwhile, panic-stricken villagers had started moving to safer locations.