Koraput: Close on the heels of its attempt to occupy Odisha territory unlawfully, Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday overstepped its administrative control by luring the students of a border village with stipends.
According to sources, teachers of the neighbouring state visited Tala Ganjeipadar village under Kotia panchayat in the district and collected biometric data of 33 students. They said the Andhra government will provide an annual stipend of Rs 15,000 to each student.
The Andhra teachers also said they would visit all the 21 neighbouring villages and collect data of the students to give them stipends.
Last Saturday, some Andhra people had put up a sign board in Sambai village on the border claiming it to be within their boundary. Odisha’s Revenue Divisional Commissioner (Southern Division) visited the village and held talks with district officials.
There were also reports that Andhra authorities were digging a pond in Kotia village of the district. Later, the district administration refuted the reports and said all developmental projects in Kotia panchayat will be completed by March 2021.
In another case of border dispute with Andhra, tension flared up in Sunabeda village under Sambai panchayat of Pottangi block in the district as Andhra put up road marks and hoisted flags redrawing the village as its territory. As the villagers vehemently opposed it and tension mounted, assistant collector Archana Dash visited the spot to take stock of the situation on Wednesday last.
Koraput Collector Madhusudan Mishra said Andhra officials were contesting the boundary by showing a forest map and the claim was refuted by the villagers on Odisha side. The actual boundary can be demarcated only after verifying revenue maps of both the states, he added.