Arunachal sends SOS as siege on NHs enters 7th day Itanagar
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu has sent an SOS to his Asom counterpart Tarun Gogoi as crisis of essentials deepened in Dibang valley and Lower Dibang valley districts in the state due to blockade of National Highway number 37 in the neighbouring state.
It, however, loomed large over Anjaw, Lohit, Tirap and Changlang districts following disruption of supply line after the civil society in Asom launched an indefinite blockade on the National Highway 37 at Doomdooma in Tinsukia since May 7, which had been extended to NH 38 and 52.
Official sources said that Mr Khandu wrote a letter to Mr Gogoi, highlighting the acute shortage of essentials in the above districts and requested him to get the blockade lifted for the sake of the people of his state.
Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil was also apprised of the situation, the sources informed.
The stock of rice, vegetables, LPG cylinders, petrol, diesel and kerosene oil had been completely exhausted in Dibang and Lower Dibang valley districts, while the situation was dismal in other four districts.
This had proved beyond doubt the urgent need to build the East West Highway, an intra-state road to provide connectivity to all districts of this land-locked state without touching Asom, an oft-repeated demand of the state government.
Thousands of people blocked the NH to protest the killing of Budheswar Moran at Laopatty by jawans of 6 J&K Rifles on May 6 last.
The 24-year-old man of Kordoiguri Bishnupur village under Doomdooma police station of the district working as a watchman in a small tea garden was shot dead as he was suspected to be ULFA militant.
This followed the death of Kakopathar-based Ajit Mahanta while in Army custody in February last year and subsequent police firing on agitating civilians at Kakopathar.
Irate people had blocked the NH for days together badly affecting the movement of men and materials to Arunachal.
Lower Dibang valley Deputy Commissioner B Gadi said that the people of the district were the worst-hit by the acute shortage of essentials.
However, efforts through elected leaders of neighbouring Asom had failed to pacify the agitators as they had been adamant on their demand for justice from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well as the Chief Minister, he stated.
The situation in Anjaw and Lohit was no better as all supplies reach these districts via Rupai, according to Lohit DC P S Lokhande, while the supply to Tirap and Changlang was partially affected.
However, many serious patients were in a precarious condition at Tezu district hospital and needed immediate evacuation outside for better treatment to save their lives, Mr Lokhande said adding a general hospital at Tezu was urgently needed to cater to the urgent needs of four districts.