Participants during the protest rally

ITANAGAR: Wancho Council, the apex body of Wancho community, along with several other organizations of Arunachal Pradesh’s Longding district on Monday submitted a joint memorandum to Governor BD Mishra demanding immediate arrest of army personnel who allegedly fired upon the residents which led to the death of one Lamdan Lukham and left six others injured.

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In the memorandum submitted to the Governor through Longding deputy commissioner, the organizations stated that the army personnel fired at the people at point-blank range which resulted in killing the 60-year-old.

The organizations demanded that the 19th Sikh Regiment provide a compensation of Rs 50 lakh to the family of the deceased, Rs 10 lakh to the one severely injured and Rs 5 lakh each to others who sustained minor injuries.

Further appealing the state government to absorb the next of kin of the deceased in a government job on compassionate grounds, the organization also demanded the inclusion of members from one of the community-based organizations of Wancho community in the inquiry committee so that transparency is maintained while investigating the case.

The organizations also demanded compensation from the Army

Wancho Students’ Union president Pongngoi Joham said that his union, along with the Longding District Students’ Union would launch a vigorous democratic movement if the demands are not met within a week.

Also Read: NSCN-IM, NSF condemn Army firing in Arunachal Pradesh

Earlier in the day, members of Wancho Council, Wancho Cultural Society, Wancho Students’ Union, Longding District Students’ Union and All Wancho Women Welfare Association took out a peaceful protest rally in the township demanding justice for Lukham.

The memorandum will be forwarded to the competent authority for necessary action, officials said

Carrying placards and shouting slogans against the army, the protesters marched from the Longding general ground to the deputy commissioner’s office.

Officials said no untoward incident was reported during the rally and all social-distancing norms and other guidelines in regards to Covid-19 were followed by the participants.

The memorandum will be forwarded to the competent authority for necessary action, officials said.

Lukham had died on the spot while several sustained minor injuries after security forces allegedly fired on residents at Pumao village in the district on Saturday.

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As per the police, the commotion started at a meeting held at the residence of Pumao village chief between locals and army representatives to discuss an incident which occurred a day earlier.

Women participants during the rally

Police said the army had on Friday picked up a youth from the village for interrogation, during which they beat him up, because of which the meeting was called.

The army in its statement has, however, said the firing took place in retaliation during a search operation after it had intelligence inputs regarding movement and activities of NSCN (I-M) cadres in the district. A judicial inquiry has been ordered into the case.

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