A team of geologists is expected to reach the village on November 30 or December 1.
A team of geologists is expected to reach the village on November 30 or December 1.

‘Diamond rush’ in Nagaland village, govt deputes geologists to investigate

Video clips and photographs, showing villagers gathered in large numbers, digging soil on a hillock and displaying small crystalline finds on their palms, went viral online.
By Alice Yhoshü | Edited by Sparshita Saxena | Hindustan Times, Kohima
UPDATED ON NOV 27, 2020 06:04 PM IST

News of what was believed to be diamonds being found in Wanching, a village in Mon district of Nagaland, spread like wildfire after photographs and video clips of villagers digging for the purported precious stone went viral on various social media platforms, prompting the state government to order an investigation to verify the claims.

The video clips and photographs showed villagers gathered in large numbers, digging soil on a hillock and displaying small crystalline finds on their palms.

The department of geology and mining on Friday deputed a team of four geologists to the site. “They will investigate and submit the status report at the earliest,” stated department director S Manen in an order. The team is expected to reach the village on November 30 or December 1.

When contacted, deputy commissioner of Mon, Thavaseelan K said the incident took place earlier this week after some villagers found some crystals while working in the forest and informed others in the village on the presumption that they were diamonds.

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The official said it was doubtful that they were diamonds as the stones were found close to the surface. But he hoped the stones would bring some sort of benefit to the villagers even if they were quartz crystals as quartz has many applications.

On whether an influx of curious people to the district was expected by the authorities, the DC replied positively if speculations were ruled to be true. However, he pointed out that the situation remains unpredictable until experts examined and declared what the stones were really worth.

Although the matter has churned debates among the public, geologists were unconvinced that the small crystals were actual diamonds since there were no records of diamonds being present in the region.

“Those are ordinary quartz crystals. They are very common and are found in different parts of Nagaland,” said Professor GT Thong from Nagaland University’s department of geology. He believes that the ‘poor villagers’ were misguided by some people and expressed hope that the team of geologists deputed to the village to investigate would officially shed some light on the matter soon.

Meanwhile, the Wanching village council has issued a notice prohibiting anyone to post anything in social media regarding the stones and restricted anyone from other villages or towns from entering the village in search of the same.

An elderly from the village informed that the village council was dismayed over the spread of unverified information, therefore in the apprehension of the arrival of many visitors following the news of the purported precious stones being found in the village, it has put up an order that anyone wanting to visit the village would require to obtain the council’s permission.

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