Midnight raids in Liromoba villages; group alleges ‘police excesses’

ITANAGAR, May 4: Liromoba-based Intellectual Support Group (ISG) has submitted a representation to the director general of police here, claiming that police personnel indulged in “excesses” while conducting midnight raids in two villages in West Siang district recently.
The ISG, which represents Yomcha, Liromoba, Darak, Lower Kamba and Upper Kamba circles, said that on the intervening night of 1 and 2 May, “at least a dozen masked police personnel raided and searched several houses in Laggi Gamlin village without identifying themselves and without showing a search warrant.”
The all-male police team also forcibly entered and searched houses where women were sleeping, it said.
“While normally the gaon burahs/buris or political interpreters are informed in advance about raids in order to rule out any sort of confrontation and to avoid law and order problem, all established norms and procedures were bypassed in this case,” the representation stated.
It said the villagers are still unaware of the reason behind the raids, and demanded that the case related to the raids, and suspects, if any, should be informed about. It also demanded that the arrest and search warrant be produced as per procedure.
The ISG alleged that the raids were “politically motivated vendetta by the ruling party, and presumably carried out at the behest of the BJP’s contesting candidate Nyamar Karbak as several similar styled raids have been carried out in Tego Gamlin and Laggi Gamlin – the ancestral village of the National People’s Party’s candidate Jarpum Gamlin.”
The ISG said it would move the high court if immediate action is not taken and its grievance not redressed.
“The incident is aimed at intimidating the law-abiding citizens,” said Gamlin, adding that the police “should not indulge in nepotism while maintaining law and order in the area.”
“I have majority of the youths supporting my leadership; so it is shocking that only two villages out of more than 55 villages are targeted,” he added.