NEFIS Statement condemning the brutal killings and repression in Tawang

May 8, 2016

Today (05.05.2016), the activists of North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS) condemning the police repression in Arunachal Pradesh, submitted a memorandum to the Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister, through the Resident Commissioner at Arunachal Bhawan in New Delhi. It should be noted that on May 2, two people, namely Monk Nyima Wangdue and Tshering Tenpa, were brutally killed and many more injured, in the Police Repression which resulted due to their protest against the arrest of Lama Lobsang Gyatso in Tawang. Lama Lobsang Gyatso has been one of the most vocal opponents of hydropower projects in the Tawang region and secretary of Save Mon Region Federation (SMRF), in the Mon-Tawang region of Arunachal Pradesh. The activists of NEFIS were denied permission to meet the Chief Minister, to get their demands heard regarding this issue.

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. This police firing and brutal repression is due to state administration’s connivance with such corporate lobbies. In this context, it should be especially noted that 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. This only shows complete contempt for the sufferings of the people and environmental destruction, while simultaneously demonstrating a concern for corporate profiteering. Needless to say, the State govenrment continues to remain apathetic to the whole situation.

NEFIS in the memorandum it submitted to the Resident Commissioner has demanded that the Government must constitute an independent enquiry to investigate the whole incident including role of police officials, local politicians. They also demanded that the involved police officers along with SP, Divisional Commissioner and others should be immediately suspended and anti-people dam construction should be immediately stopped.

NEFIS strongly condemns this incident of police repression and has resolved to launch a massive movement against anti-people corporate forces and their collusion with state governments in the North-East.

Chinglen Khumukcham,

Convener, North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS)