Itanagar: The 36-hour Itanagar Capital Region (ICR) bandh called by the All Nyishi Youth Association (ANYA) against the Arunachal Pradesh government paralysed normal life on Thursday. 

However, the bandh was largely peaceful, with no reports of major violence incidents. 

ICR, which consists of Itanagar, the state capital, Naharlagun, Nirjuli and Banderdewa, wore a deserted look throughout the day as all businesses, and most government offices remained closed.

The ANYA had called a 36-hour ICR bandh from 5 am Thursday demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Pema Khandu while alleging several corruption charges against the chief minister.

Several other allegations have also been levelled against the chief minister by the union, termed “baseless” by the state government.

CM Khandu had termed the bandh as “politically motivated”. He stated that a few groups with vested political interests wanted to use the platform created by ANYA to cause law and order issues.

Speaking to media persons in the afternoon, ICR deputy commissioner Talo Potom said the bandh was mostly peaceful. However, 50 people from Itanagar and seven from Naharlagun were detained by the police on the day.

An order under Section 3 of the Arunachal Pradesh Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act, 2014 was issued to the ICR superintendent of police on Wednesday to detain the illegal bandh callers as a preventive measure.

“Some of these people were detained for violating Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) while some were on suspicion of being bandh activists. We are trying to establish the same, and their fate would be decided accordingly. We may send them to district jails, judicial custody or even bind them down under Section 107 of the CrPC,” Potom said.

The DC said the government and administration want to create a peaceful society with no law and order issues. Hence, bandh culture should not be promoted in any form.

“We have to stop this bandh culture if we want a peaceful society. Everyone should understand that they only cause harassment to the normal public,” Potom said while appealing to all to follow the democratic way of protests if they have any grievances.

With regards to the internet services being suspended, the DC said the decision to do so was taken in “public interest.”

“We all know that several lives were lost during the anti-permanent resident certificate (PRC) agitation in 2019. This happened due to wrong information being circulated on social media. Also, properties worth several crores of rupees were lost during the protests and we don’t want a repeat of the same,” Potom said.

Three youths had lost their lives during the anti-PRC protests that rocked the state capital from February 21 to 26, 2019.

The ICR administration had on Wednesday ordered the suspension of all internet services until 5 pm on January 14 in view of the bandh call.

The administration, which has already declared the bandh as illegal, has also prohibited the entry of non-domicile person(s) in the capital region without a valid reason or medical emergency until January 14.

The ANYA members could not be contacted for their comments.

Also read: Bandh call by ANYA politically motivated, must be opposed: Arunachal CM

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