Saturday, July 31, 2021
North East

Police complaint against Arunachal CM, Rijiju over BRO road fiasco

Khandu Rijiju

ITANAGAR, JULY 2: Leaders of 4 political parties filed a police complaint against Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, accusing them of “willful violation” of several laws and Constitution, besides an attempt to alter the territory of Arunachal Pradesh.

The complaint filed on Thursday at Kimin police station in the Papumpare district pertained to the controversy over the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) renaming Kimin as Bilgarh in Assam during a June 17 event where Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the 20 km Kimin-Potin road and 11 other such projects.
The complaint was filed by Kahfa Bengia and Kaling Jerang of People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA), Ruhi Tagung and Riba Pangia Dolo of Janata Dal (United), Techi Tegi Tara and Gyamar Tana of Congress and Jarjum Ete of Janata Dal (Secular).
The complainants alleged that Khandu and Rijiju violated the Arunachal Pradesh Statehood Act of 1987, Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation of 1873 (Restricted Area Permit) and Arunachal Pradesh (Land Settlement & Record) Act of 2000 while committing fraudulent contempt of Article 3 of Constitution.
They also accused the Chief Minister and the Union Minister of an illegal attempt to distort or alter the territory of the State that culminated in communal tension and severe unrest at Kimin.
“It is to draw your attention that for the same road inauguration programme, the old signboards and foundation stones where Kimin-Arunachal Pradesh is written were intentionally covered with a white paste by BRO as alleged, despite objections from the locals”, they said, adding that it led to misgivings and suspicion among the people of the State.
The complainants also alleged that no corrective measures were taken after the Kimin-Potin road inauguration itinerary and BRO’s intimation letter to the Papum Pare Deputy Commissioner showing Kimin as Bilgarh in Assam.
They said that Khandu had at a press briefing on June 21 accepted that he was aware of the “white paste mishap” and had let know Rijiju, who was travelling with Singh, about it. “However, no statement and clarification has been made by either of them till date”, the complainants said, alleging the chain of events showed they had “fraudulent” connived with Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for ceding Kimin to Assam.

Several students’ bodies, including the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) and All Nyishi Students’ Union (ANSU), protested over the issue.
A few days back, the BRO, which constructed the road, apologised to the people of the State over the issue.