At least 30 people were injured and several vehicles set ablaze Tuesday in Arunachal Pradesh when members of a tribal group clashed with each other, prompting police to open fire, officials said.
A police spokesperson said clashes broke out after supporters of the Nyishi Consultative Committee, a newly floated group belonging to the Nyishi tribe, were prevented from holding a rally in Itanagar by members of the same community.
“Some 200 people gathered for the rally and at the same time hundreds of people from the same Nyishi community came to the venue to prevent the meeting from taking place and that resulted in violent clashes,” a police official said.
“Police had to open fire to control the situation.”
Witnesses said about 30 people were injured, some of them in police firing and others in violent clashes, while a large mob went on the rampage, burning vehicles in and around the capital city.
“Some 12 to 14 vehicles were set ablaze or damaged,” the official said.
The clashes are believed to have political overtones, with demands for a change in the leadership of Chief Minister Jarbom Gamlin increasing by the day. There are reports that the Nyishi Consultative Committee was backed by the chief minister to counter several such protests and moves by Gamlin's detractors in the last few weeks.