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.

Amid lockdown, Wancho Council, the apex body of Wancho community in Arunachal Pradesh along with several other organizations on Monday took out a rally to protest the killing of a civilian by Indian Army at Pumao village in Longding district.

Members of Wancho Council, Wancho Cultural Society, Wancho Students’ Union, Longding District Students’ Union and All Wancho Women Welfare Association took out the protest rally in the township demanding justice for Lamdan Lukham, who was shot dead by Army.

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

The protesters submitted a joint memorandum to Governor B D 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 enquiry has been ordered into the case.

DAMIEN LEPCHA

Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: lepcharaul@gmail.com