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'Arunachal risky for pro-Tibetan rallies'

With the Beijing Olympic torch set to reach India on Thursday, the state authorities have declared protests risky due to its proximity to the border.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Tawang (arunachal Pradesh)
UPDATED ON APR 15, 2008 04:06 PM IST

With the Beijing Olympic torch set to reach its New Delhi leg on April 17, authorities of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering China, have declared the state "sensitive" and a "risky" place to hold any pro-Tibetan demonstrations.

The state's Western Parliamentary Constituency MP, Khiren Rijiju, told reporters that authorities have made it clear that no demonstrations would be allowed in the state, which is a hotbed of border dispute, till the close of the Beijing Games.

"However, I will definitely protest in New Delhi against the human rights violations in Tibet," Rijiju said.

Tawang Superintendent of Police S N Mosobi said higher authorities have declared the state as sensitive and a risky place for pro-Tibetan demonstrations.

Mosobi said Section 144 of the CRPC has been clamped in the district to prevent any demonstrations. Police had dispersed a big pro-Tibetan rally in Tawang town on April 11, he added.

Meanwhile, state Governor Gen (retd) J J Singh said "China and India are two friendly neighbours and we should not do anything to deteriorate the relationship".

He said confidence building measures were underway at the highest level. "Any bilateral issue should be tackled amicably and in a pragmatic manner," Singh added.

However, people of Tawang, which is only about 15 km away from China, said "the Centre is neglecting" the district, often claimed by the Hu Jintao government as Chinese territory.

"We are proud to be Indians, and the government should protect the interest of the people who have been living under the constant fear of a Chinese incursion.

"The 1962 Chinese aggression in which the People's Liberation Army came down to occupy Indian territory beyond Tawang and Bomdila in West Kameng district should not be allowed again," Padma Shri award winning monk Thupten Phuntsok said.

People of Tawang and Tibet have a strong bond of religion and culture, and the government should also permit peaceful demonstrations in protest against the scores of Tibetans "killed, tortured and maimed" in Tibet by China, he added.

MLA Tsona Rinpocha from Tawang district said the policy of successive governments towards protection of the Sino-Indian border in Arunachal Pradesh had been "weak".

He cited the razing of a Buddha statue and occupation of seven kilometres of local grazing grounds in Samdurang Valley by China since 1986 to drive home his point.

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