Candlelight marches against Tirap massacre in Itanagar, Deomali

Staff Reporter
ITANAGAR/DEOMALI, May 28: Residents of Itanagar and Deomali took out candlelight rallies on Tuesday, expressing solidarity with the bereaved families of MLA Tirong Aboh and 10 others who were killed en masse by suspected NSCN militants in Tirap district recently.
In Deomali, the people, mostly youths, gathered at the market’s tri-junction, and marched upto Medical Tinali, before returning to the market area, and offering candles in memory of the slain.
Speaking to this daily, the youths expressed their angst at the negligence of the government.

                                              In Deomali

“This was very personal for us. They were our friends; some were family. The government is aware of everything that has been going on here. It should eradicate insurgency once and for all, lest it costs more innocent lives,” a resident of Deomali said.
Another massive rally to protest the killings is scheduled to take place in Tirap district on Wednesday.
Also condemning the killings, a conglomeration of organisations staged a candlelight march from the Akashdeep complex to IG Park in Itanagar, seeking early justice for the bereaved families.
Alleging that Aboh’s assassination was a “political murder,” Arunachal Civil Society chairman Patey Tayum informed that Aboh had filed an FIR at the Khonsa police station, seeking police protection, yet no action had been taken.
Tayum informed that Governor BD Mishra has agreed to hold discussions on the matter on 3 June with the organisations.
The state National People’s Party’s youth president Bage Kamsi expressed hope that the Pema Khandu government would deal with an iron hand the prevailing issue of underground elements operating in some of the districts.
Organizations that took part in the rally included the Wancho Students’ Union, the All Longding District Students’ Union, the All Tirap Changlang and Longding Students’ Union, the Dera Natung Government College Students’ Union, the HUSU, the All Lower Subansiri District Students’ Union, the Dumporijo Gusar Giteripa Baririjo Maro Students’ Union, the Galo Students’ Union, the Students’ Union of NERIST, and the Rajiv Gandhi University Students’ Union.
On 21 May, Aboh, his 20-year-old son, and nine others were gunned down by suspected NSCN militants at 12 Mile area near Bogapani, between Khonsa and Deomali.

Aboh assassination a ‘political murder’: AAPSU

Meanwhile, stating that Aboh’s assassination was a “political murder,” the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has demanded that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) take up the investigation into the incident.
It also demanded that the state and the central governments flush out all insurgent groups active in Tirap, Changlang and Longding (TCL) districts to bring normalcy back in the region.
The AAPSU said since the BJP is in power both in Arunachal and at the Centre, the government should demonstrate strong political will to resolve the turmoil in the TCL region once and for all.
“Unabated killings, ransom demand, extortion, and taxing the government employees from their hard-earned salaries by different insurgent groups are not new in the TCL region; and the governments – both in the state and at the Centre – too are not unaware of the fact,” the union said.
Citing the killings of former Longchan ZPM Seliam Wangsa and NPP worker Jaley Anna from Kheti village prior to the 21 May incident, the AAPSU stated that insurgency in the region “has crossed all the limits.
“But unfortunately, the investigations made so far have failed to make any headway,” it said.
The union said it would place its demands before the government, and informed that it would organise candlelight marches in all the district headquarters to condemn the gruesome killing of innocent lives, “in the first phase of the (union’s) movement.”
Meanwhile, members of the AAPSU in a condolence meeting here on Monday observed two minutes’ silence as a mark of respect to Aboh and the others who lost their lives in the attack.