‘Maoist tag used to justify firing on puja revellers’ | india | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Dec 14, 2017-Thursday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

‘Maoist tag used to justify firing on puja revellers’

The local administration in Arunachal Pradesh's Lower Dibang Valley district has allegedly branded members of the Idu Mishmi tribe as Maoists in a bid to stop their opposition to a mega dam project. The branding was allegedly used to justify the police firing on Durga puja revellers on October 5, which left nine students seriously injured, say anti-dam activists.

india Updated: Oct 09, 2011 23:37 IST
Rahul Karmakar

The local administration in Arunachal Pradesh's Lower Dibang Valley district has allegedly branded members of the Idu Mishmi tribe as Maoists in a bid to stop their opposition to a mega dam project. The branding was allegedly used to justify the police firing on Durga puja revellers on October 5, which left nine students seriously injured, say anti-dam activists.


The construction of an intricate network of 168 dams in Arunachal Pradesh is snowballing into a major environmental issue for the state.

"The unprovoked firing inside a puja pandal was meant to muffle voices against the Dibang Multipurpuse Project," activist Bamang Tago told HT from Itanagar on Sunday. The public hearing for the 3000MW project, proposed on river Dibang, is to be held at Roing, 550 km northeast of Itanagar, on October 24.

The activists accused deputy commissioner (DC) Garima Gupta and superintendent of police (SP) Veenu Bansal of working on behalf of the dam lobby.

Earlier, Gupta and Bansal had claimed Ulfa and Maoists were establishing links with locals to oppose projects in Dibang. Following the claim, on September 22, nine alleged Maoists were arrested from Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh. Thirteen days later, the police firing took place.

"This (Ulfa and Maoist connection) has been planted to mobilise additional troops, so the public hearing can be conducted forcibly," said Roing Zill Parishad chairman Chiliko Meto.

"Besides the cancellation of the public hearing, we have sought action against the DC and SP...," said Malo Linggi, president of All Idu Mishmi Students Union (AIMSU).

The AIMSU and other organisations have lodged an FIR against Roing magistrate Mirpi Tato for the firing.