Veteran BJP leader LK Advani's scheduled rath yatra at Naharlagun on Thursday has posed a stiff security challenge for the security forces battling communal violence arising out of a leadership tussle within the ruling Congress.
Naharlagun and Itanagar, 9 km apart, form the frontier state's capital complex.
The twin towns have been burning for close to a fortnight with a leadership tussle between chief minister Jarbom Gamlin and senior Congress minister Nabam Tuki snowballing into an inter-tribe battle. One person was killed and several injured in the resultant violence.
"There has been no incident for the past three days, but the undercurrent of animosity is very strong. The BJP rath yatra, under such circumstances, has complicated matters," superintendent of police Tamut Apang told HT from Itanagar.
Apart from the Arunachal Pradesh police, 14 companies of paramilitary forces have been manning the twin towns 24 hours to offset violence. But miscreants have nevertheless managed to torch vehicles - many belonged to top bureaucrats and kin of legislators - and vandalize shops.
"We are trying to arrange foolproof security at the rath yatra venue, but the area is easy to be fortified," Apang said. Advani's road show has been organized on the highway, close to one of the shopping complexes destroyed by rioters.
The BJP has also scheduled a second rath yatra on Thursday in Guwahati. Led by general secretary Digvijay Singh, the Congress in Assam has gone on overdrive panning the yatra.