ITANAGAR: The Arunachal police claimed that goons and antisocial elements were hired from outside the state to create law and order problems in the Itanagar Capital Region (ICR) and destabilize the state government during the 36-hour capital bandh enforced by the All Nyishi Youth Association (ANYA).
The ANYA had enforced the bandh in the Itanagar capital region demanding Chief Minister Pema Khandu’s resignation.
Addressing media persons Inspector General of Police (Law & Order) Chukhu Apa said, “For the first time in the state, I have noticed hired goons and hired antisocial elements were being brought from outside state on payment to create mayhem and fear during bandh hours.”
“This is a dangerous trend. First time I have come across with such case. They were tasked by their handlers to create serious law and order problem, loot and fear in the twin capital cities during bandh hours to destabilize the state government. However, with the help of our intelligence inputs, we have arrested 12-13 outsiders,” the IGP said, adding that the accused have revealed what their mission was during interrogation.
Apa further informed that the capital bandh was designed to repeat the anti-PRC riots that had taken place in February 2019, resulting in the death of three persons and a trail of destruction.
The IGP further revealed that the handlers had offered money and other pecuniary gains in return for creating serious law and order situation in the ICR during the bandh. “The police have seized Rs 3 lakhs out of 10 lakhs which was allegedly given to the bandh callers by the handlers,” Apa stated.
He informed that catapults, daos and other items which were to be used during the bandh hours have been recovered.
“A deep conspiracy to create lawlessness, loss of lives, divide people of the state on communal lines by creating gross misinformation and communal clash was revealed during the investigation,” Apa said.
“The bandh callers had plans to target vital installations like important government buildings, communication infrastructure, including bridges, and target certain persons,” he informed.
The IGP also claimed that the detainees have confessed that they had brought illegal weapons to be used during the bandh. “The police are searching for probable sites and investigating the matter vigorously,” he said.
The IGP further informed that “ANYA leaders are still wanted by the police and lookout is still on.”
The police informed that at least 45 persons have been detained so far for violating the curfew, out of whom 31 have been sent to preventive detention and 14 have been released.
The police said that there was no loss of property or life during the bandh. They informed that they foiled an arson attempt at the food & civil supplies directorate in Papu Hill, Naharlagun. One adult and eight juveniles have been arrested in this connection, and an FIR (No 2/22 u/s 436 IPC read with 3 PDPP Act) was registered at the police station in Papu Hill.
On the suspension of internet service in the ICR during the bandh hours, the IGP clarified that it was done to prevent the bandh callers and antisocial elements from misusing the internet. He apologized to the people of the ICR for causing the inconvenience, and said that it had to be done as a preventive measure in the greater interest of the people.
On other side All Nyishi youth association President Byabang Joram who gave 36 hour bandh call in Itanagar demanding CM resignation over corruption charges stated that bandh was peaceful and their association didnot damage any of the government properties. Joram gave three hours ultimatum to state government to release all his activists and General secretary of his association who has been detained by state Police.