Disturbing trend

Yet another person was killed on Thursday in election-related violence at the Taba polling station under the Koloriang assembly constituency in Kurung Kumey district. Gaon burah (GB) Bengia Tamang was allegedly shot dead by a BJP supporter. Earlier, two persons had been killed in Tirap and Longding districts in poll-related violence. Also, allegations of large-scale violence having occurred during the elections have come in from districts like Kurung Kumey, Kra Daadi, Longding, Tirap, etc. Allegations of booth capturing and rigging have also been made from districts like Upper Subansiri and East Kameng. These are together a very disturbing development.
The people of Arunachal actively participate in the election process, whether it is parliamentary, assembly or local body elections. Barring a few incidents, the elections are mostly held in a peaceful atmosphere. However, with the involvement of massive amounts of money, elections are increasingly getting violent and volatile. People are starting to treat electoral battles as some kind of war. It is reported that GB Bengia Tamang was killed in an ambush when he along with others were on their way to Taba village. Such ambushes are usually undertaken by underground elements and Naxalites. It is a matter of deep concern that people are using violent methods to win elections. They should know that violence is a cycle which, once started, is difficult to put an end to. The electoral battle should be treated like a democratic fight and not some kind of war.