Several injured as clashes rock Lohit
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- Published 24.10.10
Dibrugarh, Oct. 23: Tension mounted in the eastern districts of Arunachal Pradesh as the Lohit district administration called for additional central forces following clashes between indigenous people and others in Namsai subdivision of the district today.
Sources said around 50 people, including some policemen, were injured during clashes in the 2 Mile area between Mahadevpur and Namsai in Lohit district around 11am today. The deputy commissioner of Lohit district, R.K. Sarma, who rushed from the district headquarters, Tezu, to the site, said over phone that “the situation was tense and additional forces had been called for deployment in vulnerable areas”.
Sarma, however, declined to comment on what triggered the clash and stated that the priority of the administration was restoration of normality.
Trouble broke out when a procession organised by the Lohit Changlang Development Forum — which represents people from the Deori, Ahom, Moran, Nepali, Lishu, Adivasi, Mising, Sonowal-Kachari and the Koiborta communities — marched towards the subdivisional headquarters town of Namsai from Dirak Gate in Mahadevpur at 9am demanding permanent residential status.
“We had permitted the rallyists to proceed up to a certain distance but they, numbering around 20,000, tried to cross the mark, which prompted the police to use force,” a police official said. Local sources said the rallyists were provoked by a group of around 20 armed indigenous people who threatened them to leave.
Many were injured as the situation turned worse. Some indigenous poeple also attacked the residence of minister Chowna Mein at Namsai and ransacked it.The nine communities residing in Arunachal Pradesh for several decades had been demanding permanent resident certificates for various reasons.
The state government, too, had adopted a decision on June 24 this year to give them permanent resident certificates.
The government decision sparked off severe protests from the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union and Tai Khampti Students’ Union, forcing revocation of the decision.
The Lohit Changlang Development Forum had been campaigning on behalf of the nine communities against the government’s decision.and today’s procession was taken out to press for the demand of issuing permanent residential certificates