Orgs raise concern over arrest of anti-dam protestors

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, 13 Aug: The Dibang Resistance and the Indigenous Research and Advocacy Dibang (IRAD) have raised serious concern over the detention of human rights activist and advocate Ebo Mili and his colleague Mejo Mihu by the Itanagar police on Saturday.

The duo was detained for hours after being stopped from staging a peaceful protest against the signing of MoAs for 12 stalled hydropower projects in Arunachal between the state government and the hydro PSUs under the union power ministry.

In a statement, the organisations claimed that “Mili was released after eight hours of interrogation and bond signing (u/s 107 CrPC) for one year for keeping peace and good behaviour for an amount of Rs 10,000, while Mihu has been released with stern caution to refrain from any such ‘unlawful’ activities in the future.”

“These charges suggest that Mili and Mihu should not protest, or else strict actions will be taken against them, implying that any dissenting voice against mega dams will be dealt with strict legal actions,” the organisations said, and raised serious question over the government’s attitude towards anti-dam voices.

“It is unfortunate that protesting under our constitutional right is deemed unlawful and understood as breaching peace, while the government never took cognisance of why people are protesting in the first place. The government itself is forceful and unconstitutional, without following any protocol of public consultation. This is nothing less than dictatorship,” the organisations added.

It was reported that youths in Lower Dibang Valley HQ Roing staged a demonstration, demanding Mili and Mihu’s immediate release.

The youths termed unconstitutional the state government’s arresting people protesting rightfully against mega dams that will displace indigenous tribes and take land ownership from them.

IRAG member Amar Mega appealed to the public to join the movement against mega dams.

“There is nothing unconstitutional about a peaceful protest and demonstrations,” said Bhanu Tatak, member of the Dibang Resistance and the SIFF, and condemned the government for arresting Mili and Mihu.