Updated: July 3, 2021 8:17:01 am
Opposition parties in Arunachal Pradesh have filed a police complaint against Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Union minister Kiren Rijiju over the alleged misrepresentation of the state’s Kimin town as part of Assam in a function attended by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh last month.
On June 17, Singh, Khandu, Rijiju and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had attended the e-inauguration of the 20-km Kimin-Potin road and 11 other roads, which were constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) at Papum Pare district’s Kimin town. However, a release from the Ministry of Defence said that the event was held in Assam’s Lakhimpur district. Eyewitnesses also allege that at the event, the BRO painted over signboards and notices that said ‘Kimin’, to hide the location.
Following the incident, various civil society organisations held protests and demanded an apology from the BRO.
After the incident came to light, Rijiju had said in a Facebook post that the BRO had committed a “serious mistake” and has said that he has “conveyed to BRO for urgent rectification of mistake which happened without the knowledge of Defence Minister and Arunachal Govt”
The Indian Express reached out to CM Khandu but he was unavailable for comment.
The BRO also issued an apology saying that it was an “inadvertent mistake” which happened in the “pressure of organising the event while racing against the time”.
According to the complaint filed by the political parties, Khandu and Rijiju, along with Sarma, had ceded Kimin to Assam and thereby violated the Arunachal Pradesh Statehood Act, 1987, the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 (Restricted Area Permit) and rules of the Arunachal Pradesh (Land Settlement & Record) Act, 2000.
A top Arunachal police officer said that the complaint was received at the Kimin police station on Thursday, but not registered.
The complaint was signed by seven politicians — two of the People’s Party of Arunachal, two of the JD(U), one of the JD(S) and two of Congress. It said that a road inauguration function had turned into “chaos” leading to “communal tension, unrest and protests” in the state.
JD(S) leader Jarjum Ete, who is one of the complainants, told The Indian Express, “If the government of India is not able to say the event was held in Arunachal Pradesh, which is an integral part and parcel of India, then this government is spineless.” She added that neither Khandu nor Rijiju had clarified anything after their initial statements on the issue following the controversy. “The government constituted a high powered committee following the protest but no one knows what transpired on the ground,” she said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.