The white stickers have now been removed from the signboards.

Itanagar: Youth and community-based organisations of Arunachal expressed resentment over the Border Roads Organisation’s (BRO) howler of presenting Kimin town in Arunachal Pradesh’s Papum Pare district as part of Assam.

The development comes just days after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to Kimin, an ADC headquarters in Papum Pare district, to inaugurate the 20-km-long, two-lane road from Kimin to Potin.

During the inauguration, it was noticed that several signboards displaying Arunachal’s name were covered with white paste/paper, while the Defence Minister office’s Twitter handle also mentioned Kimin as being a part of Assam. A few mainstream media organisations had also carried the story mentioning Kimin to be a part of Assam instead of Arunachal.

The All Kimin Youth Welfare Association (AKYWA) staged a peaceful protest in front of the BRO’s office in Kimin demanding immediate shifting of the organisation’s bureau from Kimin, failing which it threatened to continue the protest. 

AKYWA general secretary Giogi Johnny alleged that presenting Kimin as a part of Assam was a pre-planned move of the BRO and the same has hurt the sentiments of the people here.

He appealed to the chief minister Pema Khandu and home minister Bamang Felix to shift the BRO from Kimin to Assam at the earliest.

Kimin gram panchayat member (GPM) Bamang Tagak said that a memorandum has also been submitted to the defence minister appealing to him to correct the mistake.

Tagak also claimed that the BRO is yet to complete the work on the entire stretch of the two-lane road from Kimin-Potin inaugurated on Friday as many bridges along with culverts, returning walls and drainage work is still to be completed.

“We have also mentioned these details in the memorandum,” he said while adding even the tentative programme list made by the BRO before the inauguration ceremony mentioned Kimin as a part of Assam.

The All Nyishi Youth Association (ANYA) has also condemned the development.

“After completion of the road inauguration function, defence minister Singh while sharing the information on Twitter mentioned that “The program was held in Assam”. Besides provoking an inter-state boundary dispute, the statement has also hurt the sentiments of our people. We fail to understand as to how the defence minister of our country is not unaware of the boundaries that the states share,” a joint statement from the union’s president Byabang Joram and general secretary Dr Bengia Tada said.

The ANYA further stated though the inauguration function was held at Kimin in Arunachal Pradesh, the entire security arrangement for the visiting dignitaries was made by the Assam Police while the local administration was also not informed on the Minister’s visit to the state.

The Arunachal Pradesh police and the local administration should have been given the responsibility to make the security arrangements, but the BRO entrusted to Assam Police for the same which implies that it is treating Kimin as part of Assam and undermining and disrespecting the Government of Arunachal Pradesh, the union said.

The ANYA further said covering Arunachal’s name from the inauguration and foundation stones and signboards with white paste/paper to depict Kimin as a part of Assam is a big insult to the people of Arunachal Pradesh.

The union also questioned the silence of Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Kiren Rijiju and Chief Minister Khandu’s silence over the matter.

It has further asked the state government to fully investigate the matter and book those guilty under appropriate sections of law.

The Tañw Supuñ Dukuñ (TSD), the apex council of the Apatani community also termed the entire development as unfortunate.

The organisation said the land where the BRO and ITBP camps are located in Kimin was donated by Arunachalis without demanding any compensation for the sake and well-being of the country and its security, however, the contribution has been blatantly ignored and disrespected.

While the BRO has denied feeding wrong information, it also claimed that the same was done due to “strategic reasons which were deliberated at the highest level”.

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