Itanagar: Normal life was paralysed in the Arunachal Pradesh capital on Tuesday due to a 12-hour Itanagar Capital Complex bandh called by the All Nyishi Students’ Union (ANSU) in protest against the State Government’s alleged failure to address its two-point demand.
During the bandh period, markets, shops and business establishments remained shut. Banks, post offices and educational institutions also remained closed. All types of vehicular traffic, except for those with police and magistrates on duty, were off the roads.
Normal functioning of Govt offices was also affected due to the bandh as most of the babus preferred to remain indoors. However, police and paramilitary forces personnel stood guard in the streets and at all vital establishments all throughout the day to prevent any untoward happening.
Itanagar Capital Complex Deputy Commissioner Talo Potom informed that the 12-hour capital bandh called by the ANSU passed off ‘peacefully’ without any major law and order problem.
However, a senior police officer said that two police vehicles were torched and two others damaged near the State Civil Secretariat here allegedly by the bandh supporters.
Earlier in the morning, the bandh supporters marched through the national highway-415 raising slogans against the government before staging a demonstration in front of the Civil Secretariat here. They also burnt tyres at several locations in the capital region to enforce the bandh.
The dawn-to-dusk bandh call was given by the students’ body to press for its demands – immediate transfer of state’s Education Commissioner and withdrawal of an FIR registered against the team ANSU in connection with a brawl they allegedly had with the security personnel deployed at the Civil Secretariat’s entry gate recently.
State Home Minister Bamang Felix on Monday expressed helplessness to withdraw the FIR, saying there is no such legal provision to do so. He said that the team ANSU had engaged in a brawl at the entry gate of the Civil Secretariat which resulted in filing of the FIR against them.
He, however, said, “The team should not be afraid if they aren’t wrong” and added, “Every citizen is governed by certain rules and we have to abide by it.”
Regarding the demand for transfer of Education Commissioner Niharika Rai, Felix, also the Govt spokesperson, stated that there has to be valid grounds to seek transfer of an officer.
“The Government does not see any point as to where the Commissioner went wrong,” he said.
However, the agitating ANSU has a different version: education being one of the most important departments has to be looked after by a ‘burden-free’ officer whereas the incumbent Commissioner Education mans atleast six government departments. “Hence, we are demanding her transfer,” ANSU general secretary Gora Rikam Bhai had said.