AAPSU serves ultimatum to BRO to apologize; union to file cases against illegal Chakma settlers

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, 22 Jun: Stepping up its movement against the Border Roads Organization (BRO) over the covering up of Arunachal’s name with white paste ahead of the defence minister’s road inauguration ceremony at Kimin on 17 June, the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) on Tuesday gave 10 days’ ultimatum to the BRO, seeking an unconditional apology to the people of Arunachal.

The union said it would otherwise resort to unprecedented agitations across the state to remove the BRO from the state.

The AAPSU lodged an FIR against the BRO chief engineer at the Itanagar police station, seeking immediate inquiry into what compelled the BRO to hide Arunachal’s name.

Briefing the media outside the police station after filing the FIR, AAPSU president Hawa Bagang said, “We have lodged an FIR against the BRO chief engineer for hiding Arunachal’s name in the state itself. We suspect that the BRO came to Arunachal not to bring development but to work as China’s agent,” Bagang alleged.

“The BRO took 10 years to complete the Kimin-Potin road (just 20 kilometres), which was inaugurated by the defence minister, whereas the more-than-200-kilometres-long Seppa-Itanagar road (NH 13) was completed in four years by another construction agency,” said Bagang, and also highlighted the extremely slow pace of work on the Bomdila-Tawang road under the BRO.

The AAPSU president further stated that all central vigilance agencies and Arunachal’s Special Investigation Cell should launch an investigation into the endemic corruption in the BRO/GREF.

AAPSU general secretary Tobom Dai termed the Kimin episode “an intentional act to sabotage the state’s territorial integrity and breach of the state’s sovereignty by the BRO.” He said that the BRO’s act was aimed at stoking misunderstanding between Assam and Arunachal, since both the states have a boundary dispute for so long.

 Dai further informed about the recent visit by an AAPSU team, led by him, to Kathan village in Lohit district, following the alleged attack on the villagers there by illegal Chakma settlers.

Dai claimed that illegal Chakma settlers are encroaching on the traditional land of the Mishmi community and reserve forest area by intimidating the indigenous people. “They are even creating hurdles in the implementation of the MLALAD scheme in the area,” he said.

He informed that the AAPSU will start filing cases against illegal Chakma encroachers individually to protect the indigenous land, and that the union will discuss with the state government how to tackle the issue.

Chakma settlers have lodged an FIR against leaders of the AAPSU and the All Mishmi Students’ Union. The AAPSU said the law would take its own course of action since the student community did not commit anything wrong.