Tawang (Arunachal Pradesh), May 2 (IANS) Two people were killed and 10 were injured on Monday when police fired at agitators who were demanding immediate release of anti-dam activist Lama Lobsang Gyatso at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.
Simmering tension continued in the Tawang district, as the administration imposed curfew and the Indian Army was called in to assist police in controlling the situation.
Residents said a large number of people, including Buddhist monks, gathered in Tawang town on Monday where Gyatso was supposed to be presented in a court.
Although the agitators were protesting peacefully, the situation turned hostile when the court rejected Gyatso’s bail plea.
The agitators then laid siege to the Tawang police station and demanded immediate release of the anti-dam activist, who heads the ‘Save Mon Region Federation’ (SMRF) — an organisation opposing the hydroelectric power projects in Mon-Tawang region.
“Police had to fire at the agitators who turned violent and tried to set the police station on fire. In the firing, two people were killed and about 10 were injured,” a police official said.
Unofficial sources, however, said five people were killed in the police firing and over a dozen others were injured.
After the violence, police again presented Gyatso in court which granted him bail.
The National Green Tribunal last month suspended the environmental clearance to the 780 MW Nyamjang Chhu project in response to an appeal filed by the Save Mon Region Federation.
Gyatso and the SMRF activists as also villagers are recording their objections against other proposed hydropower projects.
Gyatso was also arrested last week for leading a group of people from Gongkhar village where the Mukto Shakangchu 6 MW project is coming up.
Gyatso was arrested after an FIR was filed by the security officer of legislator and former minister Pema Khandu. He was, however, granted bail the same day.
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul termed the incident as most unfortunate and said that the loss of lives and injuries to the others was indeed a sad moment in the history of the state. He conveyed his condolences to the bereaved families.