Violence in Vijoynagar

After three years of peaceful demands and protests, it reached to another point on 11 Dec. The peaceful protests turned violent.

This is unfortunate, but if the govt had responded earlier, this situation could have been evaded. But here we are with a deadlock situation.

The video summarize the core demand made onsite on 11 Dec 2020.

News reports from Arunachal Times (12 Dec 2020).

ITANAGAR, 11 Dec: Simmering tension is reportedly brewing in Vijoynagar in Changlang district after agitated public and students torched government buildings and offices there on Friday morning, demanding immediate debarment of ex-Assam Rifles (AR) settlers in Vijoynagar from participating in the panchayat election, and shifting of the settlers out of Vijoynagar.

Police sources informed that at around 8:30 am on Friday, Yobin students, youths and public, led by the All Yobin Students’ Union (AYSU), burned down the EAC office, the post office and the Special Branch (SB) office, and ransacked the Vijoynagar police station.

“They were around 400 in number and came from Gandhigram with daos, lathis, bows and arrows, shouting ‘Hamari maangey puri karo,” the sources said.

The AYSU has been demanding immediate removal of the panchayati raj rights extended to the ex-AR settlers in Vijoynagar, and shifting of the settlers out of Vijoyanagar.

The day followed by condemnation from four orgs: United Miao Mission (UMM), Miao Singpho Ramma Hpung (MSRH),  Tirap changlang and longding students’ federation (TCLSF) and All changlang district students’ union (ACDSU) on the 12 Dec 2020. Its ok they feel they need to do this. But I would think that they should consider how to support and help to progress on this fight.

AAPSU also condemned on 13 Dec but they made good point:

At the same time, the AAPSU squarely put the major responsibility for the escalation of the problem on the state government, saying the government was “not being reciprocative to the sentiment of the Yobin community of the area.”

“There is a need for self-retrospection and soul searching on part of the authorities as to why members from the Yobin community were compelled to take such extreme measures. The Yobin community has been agitating and resorting to peaceful democratic protests against non-inclusion of settlers and non-APSTs under PRI since last many years with numerous dharnas, hunger strikes, etc, even being held in Itanagar,” it pointed out, and sought a more direct approach by the state government and engagement with the Yobin community on the vexed issue.

Meanwhile, 24 persons from Hazolo and Dawodi were arrested on the 13 Dec. I think the authorities should exercise such raids with caution. It could be done at later times when the situation calms down. It is still very tensed now.

14 Dec 2020 DC, Minister and administration onsite.

Our local administration is only for emergency. Where were they from 2014-2020? They left the EAC office in the hands of a Kotoki (Political Interpreter) and few LC (Load Carriers). Administration made a mockery of Vijoynagar Circle.

(1) Facebook

(1) Facebook

15 Dec 2020

The Settlers of Vijoynagar made a news release, clarifying their stand. Most of the points they requested the govt to intervene. That’s good and wise. They should continue to ask govt to provide them alternatives. This is good shift of their earlier position, when they used to provide false info about Lisus and seem to enjoy govt’s favour.

Vijaynagar violence: Shooting two birds with one stone? (AP Times, 15 Dec 2020) The Intelligence Department is seems to be suspicious why offices esp Special Bureau was burnt. It is govt right to investigate, but trying to find ulterior motives will find zero result. Because if the govt had respond to the demand of removal of Panchayat Raj earlier, this unfortunate incident would never happen.

16 Dec Vijaynagar violence: Gorkhas seek governor’s intervention (AP Times). They made good appeal to Governor. But this statement is wrong.

They said that the settlers had been sent to the then uninhabited land (Vijaynagar) on the line of duty during the Srijitga expedition to integrate the area and to mark Vijaynagar as an Indian territory.

It was never “uninhabited land”. The Assam Rifles used force to evict all Yobin villagers and hurdled in Gandhigram village.

19 Dec 2020 (Eastern Sentinel)

ITANAGAR, Dec 18: At least 39 people have been detained in connection with the Vijoynagar violence and arson incident.
Informing the media about the development, IGP (Law & Order) Chuku Apa said as of now the situation in Vijoynagar is normal and security forces in required numbers have been deployed in the area to contain further escalation of violence. He also disclosed that out of 39 detainees at least 26 were arrested including 7 women, out of which 5 were juvenile. “Nine more people were detained on Thursday but were released on bail,” the IGP said. Giving further details, he disclosed that at least five cases have been transferred to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) and the arrestees will be brought here at the SIT office for further questioning. When asked about the involvement of underground elements in the incident, the IGP informed that investigation is on and as of now no such evidence has been found.
When asked about the attempt to arrest the President of All Yobin Students’ Union (AYSU), the IGP confirmed the news, adding that although the police team went to arrest him, he was not available in the suspected location. However, efforts are on to arrest the AYSU President, he informed. 

In the context of this Vijoynagar violence, the contention for the land emerged again. And this became a curiosity for the journalist. One such is a two article series by Taba Ajum entitled, “We cannot part with our ancestral land’ (AP Times, 19 Dec 2020). The second part “We have nowhere else to go: Gorkha settlers of Vijaynagar” (AP Times, 20 Dec 2020). Settlers now seem to understand the reality, otherwise, they prefer to call themselves as local. But one wrong statement is wrong, “The Gorkha community also said that they have not ventured out of the land demarcated for them.” There are several cases of land encroachment lying in the EAC office.

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