The Tawang incident was deliberate attempt of the state Govt to target anti-dam activists and stifle their voice, said Marli Ingo of Nyiko Bachao Federation in a press conference jointly convened by Siang Bachao Federation (SBF), Siang People’s Forum(SPF) and Nyiko Bachao Federation (NBF) at the Press Club here on Thursday. The organization trio vehemently condemned the May 2 Tawang Police firing incident and demanded CBI inquiry into it.
Addressing media persons, Marli Ingo squarely blamed the GoAP for the deaths of two persons in Tawang. He claimed ‘the state government made a complete mockery of its purported scheme of harnessing hydropower. It is also trying to politicize the whole issue by giving it a religious tint with the objective to curb the movement against construction of dams in the state’.
The organizations will jointly launch a state-wide movement against the GoAP if their demands are not met with soon, he said.
Ingo further raised serious doubts over the constituting of a one-man enquiry committee to investigate the firing incident, saying that its reports cannot be neutral as it is headed by a government official.
‘Over 150 MoUs/MoAs have already been signed with various power developers and the GoAP is still planning to take up more projects despite the fact that not even a single one of them has been commissioned so far, said NBF General Secretary Rekem Ingo and appealed to the state government to first commission the projects.
While referring to the Lower Siang Hydroelectric Project in West Siang district, SBF Assistant General Secretary, Jorik Bagra said that the people will not bow down to the state government’s bullying tactics and continue to oppose construction of mega dams in the district.
‘The GoAP is only interested in the processing money and is not concerned about the adverse impacts of such mega dam projects which could affect the local indigenous populace,’ he stated.
SPF General Secretary, Oyar Gao further said that the state government seldom has any Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) Policy in place for the local populace. People are not even made aware of such schemes and hence denied of their genuine entitlements, he pointed out.
We are not against construction of dams or anti- development, we are opposing construction of mega dams against coming up of any structure over rivers that will have adverse impact on the indigenous people and cause ecological imbalance, the organizations said.
Meanwhile, North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS) while condemning the police firing in Tawang demanded that ‘anti-people’ dam construction should be immediately stopped.
NEFIS stated that the killings are a result of machinations by pro hydro-power lobby to construct dams in an ecologically sensitive region without any regard either for the region or the people protesting against it.
NEFIS in its memorandum to Arunachal CM demanded that the state government must constitute an independent enquiry to investigate the whole incident including role of police officials, local politicians in police firing.
Even as Tawang continues to reel under the shock of police firing, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul at ASSOCHAM forum in New Delhi in a complete insensitive statement has advocated for fast-tracking environmental clearances for hydropower projects and suggested single window clearance to the hydro project developers, added the release.
NEFIS resolved to launch a massive movement against anti-people corporate forces and their collusion with state governments in the North-East.
Meanwhile, ridiculing Kalikho Pul government’s response to Tawang firing incident, Arunachal Pradesh Youth Brigade (APYB) on Thursday stated that mere suspension and announcement of ex-gratia are not enough. In a release APYB denounced the one-man magisterial enquiry constituted by the government stating that it should atleast three members magisterial enquiry committee and should hand over to CBI to unearth the truth. APYB further exhorted that Pul government has failed to maintain law and order problem in the state.