Way forward

The Itanagar Capital Region was hit by the 72-hour bandh recently, crippling life as the bandh callers as well as the government were adamant regarding the 13-point demands relating to various Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission paper leakage cases. As both sides refused to heed the demand of the other, the government did what it does best to govern – cite the law and pick up the most regressive of the laws and slap it on its citizens as if they were the ultimate enemies.

Sol Dodum and others were taken into preventive custody and sent to different jails in the state for 12 days under the Arunachal Pradesh Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (APUAPA), 2014. Now the home department has extended the detention of 36 people to another 30 days. The arrestees should be released at the earliest. The protestors aren’t the enemies of the state.

In a democracy, it is a given that there will be voices of discontentment, disagreements and protests against the government. However, this does not mean that any voice that opposes the government is chocked and jailed. The government is for the people and therefore it should be sympathetic to the demands of the people.

Instead of being aggressive towards people who are dissenting, the government should take a step back and look for measures that are accommodative and inclusive.