Normal life was affected across Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday due to a 12-hour bandh called by the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) to protest against the Union Home Ministry’s decision to grant citizenship to Chakma and Hajong refugees in the state.
Protesters damaged vehicles in Itanagar, official reports said. Incidents of stone-pelting were reported from Changlang and Namsai, the two districts where Chakma refugees have been living.
Government offices, educational institutions, banks, markets and commercial establishments were closed across the state, while most public and private transport stayed off the roads. A few state transport buses were seen plying in the morning, but the services were suspended after a bus was set ablaze in the state capital.
The AAPSU central committee meeting held in Itanagar last Thursday had described the Centre’s decision as an “example of its indifferent attitude” towards the problems of indigenous tribes and communities of the frontier state, and asked the people to send a clear message to New Delhi. It had also asked Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju to stand by the indigenous communities of the state.
“The people of Arunachal Pradesh should never tolerate such arbitrary and callous decision that has the potential to annihilate and erode the state’s demography. This is the apt time to be united… or else the fate of the indigenous tribal is at great stake,” a statement issued by AAPSU said.