Anguished musicians seek compensation

The vehicle used by Alobo and his band was torched along with the musical instruments at the venue of the Itanagar International Film Festival

By Abdul Gani in Guwahati
  • Published 26.02.19, 1:29 PM
  • Updated 26.02.19, 1:29 PM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
Alobo Naga Telegraph picture

The musicians, including popular Nagaland musician Alobo Naga, whose vehicles, instruments and equipment were set ablaze by a mob in Itanagar, have demanded compensation from the Arunachal Pradesh government.

Protesters burnt several vehicles and destroyed buildings while protesting against the government’s decision to provide permanent residence certificates (PRC) to non-Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe (ST) residents.

“Unfortunately, we haven’t heard anything from the government. This is our bread and butter. One should know that it took us years to buy these instruments. We do concerts and save some money and only then we can buy the instruments gradually,” Alobo Naga told The Telegraph on Monday.

The vehicle used by Alobo and his band was torched along with the musical instruments at the venue of the Itanagar International Film Festival.

“Dear Sir @KirenRijiju @PemaKhanduBJP @Neiphiu_Rio, that’s the car filled with our instruments after mob attack during International film festival in Itanagar. Request your help in getting our compensation as we are only humble #musician and our livelihood is burned. PLEASE HELP!” Alobo had tweeted with the picture of the car after the incident.

Alobo and his band have lost instruments worth more than Rs 30 lakh.

“First of all it was a government event. I think they should compensate us. At least they should help us to stand on our feet. And it’s not only about money but the relationship with the instruments. We are emotionally attached to the instruments. I don’t think money can repay this. We may be able to buy the instruments again but the chemistry will be different. The keyboard which I have been playing for the last 10 years was like my pet. This hurts me more. We feel so helpless at the moment,” Alobo added.

Assam’s Priyanka Bharali’s band members’ instrum-ents were also damaged.

“I urge the Arunachal government to cover for the instruments of all the musicians, including mine,” Bharali said.

On the other hand, Assam police on Monday launched two helpline numbers — 8749860803 and 0361-231511 — for people from Assam who are stranded in Arunachal Pradesh.

AGP MLA Satyabrat Kalita has asked the Arunachal Pradesh government to ensure the safety and security of citizens of Assam stranded there as well as those belonging to indigenous communities of Assam living in the neighbouring state since time immemorial.

He demanded the Arunachal Pradesh government should pay compensation to the musicians of Assam whose equipment were set ablaze by the protesters.