GUWAHATI: There are no cowboys there nor is it the Wild West, but it is deja vu in a remote corner of Nagaland.
A village in the state's Mon district, known for good quality coal, is witnessing a mad rush of diamond hunters after a villager had stumbled upon a glittering stone while farming two days ago.
Official sources said the locals of Wanching were digging all over in search of the "precious" stones. The district administration is trying to figure out if they are indeed diamonds or merely glittering stones like quartz, sparking off a comedy of errors.
"The discovery of four-five glittering stones has excited the villagers so much that they are digging all over. The stones were found too close to the surface and the chances of them being diamonds appear remote," Mon District Magistrate Thavaseelan K told The New Indian Express.
He said a team from the state's Geology and Mining Department would visit the site next week to conduct an investigation. It is a mix of private and community-owned land where the crystal-like stones were found.
"There are coal and petroleum deposits in Nagaland. This is the same area where coal is also found," Thavaseelan added.
Tonyei Angh, who is the chairman of Wanching village, too believed the stones found were not diamonds.
"The person, who found a stone, went home and told his family and friends about it, triggering an excitement. However, we feel it was not diamond as we managed to break it into pieces with a hammer. We all know diamond is not fragile," Angh said.
Not just the villagers, even Army and Assam Rifles personnel visited the site to find out if the stones were indeed diamonds, he said.
The village council is certain that these were not diamonds. It directed villagers to refrain from circulating "fake news" through social media platforms.