Thousands of people cutting across caste and community took to the street along with placards, banners and posters at Miao, a small semi-urban town in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh against the NSCN(IM).
The protesters voiced against the NSCN(IM) which allegedly gave death threat to Jowkhong Singpho, the Zilla Parishad Chairperson (ZPC) of Changlang district. He is also an active Singpho leader heading the Singpho Development Society (SDS), an apex body of the Singpho community as the President.
Demanding peace in the Singpho-inhabited areas across Changlang district and condemning the act of death threat over the telephone to the Singpho leader by one Damthing Tangkhul, who is allegedly working for the NSCN (IM), the protest rally kicked off at Miao Shopping Complex.
The rally culminated near the office of the Additional Deputy Commissioner. Around two thousand people including men, women, students and businessmen participated in the rally to raise their voices demanding peace in the area. They also urged the authorities concerned to crackdown on the armed militants who have been creating unrest in the region.
The rally was organized by the Singpho Development Society of India.
It has been alleged that several attempts were also made earlier to kill the family members of Singpho at his Miao residence at gun point allegedly for working against the interests of the Nagas.
Condemning the cowardice act of the militant outfit of the organization in the strongest possible words, the leaders of various organizations including the Singpho Youth Organization, Singpho Development Society, Singpho Woman Organization, All Bordumsa Singpho Student Union, Miao Singpho Ramma Hpung and Pan Singpho Students Union said that Damthing Tangkhul, a cadre of the NSCN (IM) on March 18 had warned of dire consequences if he Singpho works against the interest of the outfit.
“Singpho, however, as an emerging leader among the Singphos has been actively contributing for the overall peace and development of the people,” the leaders of the agitating groups said.
“Threatening a leader of our community, who has been the President of an apex organization, has been taken as a willful intimidation of the entire Singpho tribe,” said a leader of the Singpho students’ body. He further stated that the innocent people including businessmen are being constantly threatened and illegally taxed by the armed rebels of NSCN (IM) and other underground outfits.
However, the exact nature of the allegation is yet to be ascertained legally as no FIR or complaint to this effect has been lodged at the local police station.
Meanwhile, a memorandum to this effect was submitted to the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh and Chief Minister Pema Khandu through the ADC, Miao demanding security for Singpho besides initiating steps to ensure peace in the region by combating the menace of militant activities.