Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Jarbom Gamlin on Tuesday appealed for calm after state capital Itanagar witnessed sectarian clashes during a 12-hour bandh seeking his ouster.
At least 50 people were injured after tribal groups polarised for and against Gamlin clashed prompting police to open fire. One person was reportedly killed though the police declined to confirm.
"We must collectively tackle these issues (leadership crisis) on the basis of dialogue and consensus. Violence has to be rejected at all costs," said Gamlin. "I am very pained by the series of events that unfolded today. We must look within ourselves to see what can be done to reverse this trend."
The chief minister called upon all community based and civil society organizations to work collectively in collaboration with the government to ensure that law of the land prevailed over everything else.
Trouble had been brewing in Arunachal Pradesh since September with a group of MLAs and ministers seeking a change of leadership. Most of his detractors belong to a majority tribe, to which Gamlin does not belong.
"A group gathered for a rally in support of the chief minister, but another group belonging to the same community turned up to disrupt the meeting. We had to open fire to disperse the mob, which set at least 15 vehicles on fire," a senior police officer said from Itanagar. He neither denied nor confirmed the death of one person in the firing.