Police personnel resorting to lathicharge and tear gas shells in order to disperse irate protesters in Arunachal Pradesh’s Namsai district on Friday

Tinsukia: Several policemen and protestors were grievously injured in a clash between Adi students’ union members and security forces that took place in Namsai district of Arunachal Pradesh on Friday.

In the clash that broke out, Namsai deputy SP Sepraj Perme also got severely injured and his condition is said to be critical as of now.

The clash between the student body members and police personnel also triggered a fear psychosis among locals residing in the Assam-Arunachal border areas.

As per sources, the development comes a week after 14 houses belonging to the Adi people and the Adi Musup community hall — a sacred place located at Ani Mabira (Ani means new in Adi dialect), around 15 km from Namsai town — were allegedly torched by members of Tai Khamti Students Union claiming them to be illegally set up on encroached land.

Speaking with EastMojo, a cop from the Arunachal state police said that the clash between both the sides broke out after around 1,000 agitators reportedly under the banner of Adi Students Union took out a mass rally in Namsai town demanding arrest of culprits from the Tai Khamti community.

“Fearing clashes and tension between two tribes, the administration has clamped Section 144,” the cop, on condition of anonymity, said.

He further informed that the police personnel had laid a blockade to stop the protesters beyond a point that eventually triggered their anger, after which they started pelting stones at the cops, injuring more than five of them.

Police barricading a bridge to stop protesters in Namsai on Friday

“Police had to lathicharge and resort to tear gas shelling with blank fire in order to disperse the irate protesters and bring the situation under control,” the police personnel added.

EastMojo tried to contact the deputy commissioner of Namsai, Bijoy Talukdar, to get more details on the incident but efforts turned futile.

According to last-minute reports, three houses belonging to Adi community were set on fire at Old Mabira village of Namsai a week ago and the finger of suspicion was reportedly pointed on the Tai Khamti community. However, there is no official confirmation of the incident.

Another source said the Adi Students’ Union had submitted a memorandum to the DC and SP of Namsai district to arrest the culprits involved in arson and vandalism against Adi community at New Mabira village earlier.

“Situation turned tense after the police failed to nab a single person involved in the arson even after a week forcing the Adi Students Union to take out a peaceful rally today [Friday],” the source revealed.

The source further disclosed that there are also reports of thousands of youths from the Adi community entering Namsai from the neighbouring districts of Arunachal Pradesh and the situation might turn worse at any point of time.

The district administration had earlier declared that the land was encroached on which Adi community was trying to set up a new village which was finding stiff opposition from the Tai Khamti community.

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