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Rashmi Ranjan

Coming down heavily on Andhra Pradesh’s encroachments at Kotia in Koraput district, Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati on Monday warned officials of the neighbouring state of serious consequences if they dared to place any signboard of their government in the region. 

Speaking to OTV, the senior Congress leader said, “We are not wearing bangles. We will not allow AP to encroach even an inch of Kotia land. We also don’t need any help from the government to check Andhra from encroaching upon our land.”

“May it be their Collector, SP or Police, whoever places a board of Andhra Pradesh in our region, s/he will not be allowed to return to their state,” the Congress MLA cautioned.

Bahinipati went on to add, “Who is Andhra Pradesh? Is Kotia their ancestral property? Any official from that State daring to place poster in our region will face the consequences,” Bahinipati warned.

Notably, the dispute over Kotia is a long-pending border issue between Andhra Pradhesh and Odisha. Both States have been claiming their sovereign rights over the area, which consists of 27 small tribal hamlets on the border.

In May, the border dispute between the negiboouring states raised its ugly head after health officials from Andhra set up a mobile health unit in the disputed region and provided free services to the people at doorstep.

Andhra Pradesh had set up the mobile health clinic at Phatusineri village in Kotia over which both Odisha and Andhra have been claiming jurisdiction.

The Kotia regions had been in the headlines for last several months ever since the southern neighbour had notified to conduct rural polls in the disputed villages.

Later, the AP had also successfully carried out the Panchayat elections in the region despite a steadfast resistance by the Odisha government.

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