Why did Police fire on people in Tawang?
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On 2nd May 2016, police fired upon the peaceful demonstrators killing two protestors on spot and six killed in total injuring several. The peaceful demonstration was being carried by residents of Tawang, one of the major districts in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, a strategic border area, against an unlawful detention of one Lama Lobsang Gyatso, who according to the police and district administrations alleged that the accused was arrested on charges of defamation against the spiritual abbot of Ancient Tawang Monastery.
Facts: On April 26, Lama Lobsang Gyatso was first arrested for leading a group of people from Gongkhar village where the 6 MW Mukto Shakangchu project is coming up. The villagers had opposed the reconstruction of spillway of the small project as they say that work quality has been compromised. He was arrested based on FIR filed by the Personnel security officer of local MLA Pema Khandu for disruption of peace. He was later let out on bail.
However, on April 28, Lobsang Gyatso was rearrested for his comments against Guru Rinpoche, the Abbot of Tawang Monastery for hurting the sentiments of the peoples and defaming the Abbot following an FIR filed by ZPM Lobsang Youten.
Faulty arguments that put forward in justifying Lobsang Gyatso's arrest and our clarification regarding the fact:
1. Meeting at Kalawangpo hall on 28th April 2016 was said to have convened to discuss on Lobsang Gyatso's comment on Guru Tulku, but they had spread a circular citing the reason of the meeting as to discuss on Panchayati Raj Development program. Their hidden agenda was to lure more and more people against Lama Lobsang Gyatso in the name of Panchayati Raj Development Program. People were trick and they actually succeeded in the same, and many people gathered just with a hope to hear some positive information about tackling the current landslide problem but they were disappointed when speakers from the dais started hurling objectionable words against Lobsang Gyatso and even threatened to kill him. After the meeting, two self declared social media (Tawang Times and Mon Tawang Vigilance) posted as "the gathering was a show of solidarity by the masses particularly the Buddhist community of Tawang and to protest the unruly comment made by Lobsang Gyatso on the abbot of Tawang monastery". Such a shameful misuse of gathering.
2. Panchayati members filed case against Lama Lobsang Gyatso citing that they were hurt by the comment of him on Guru Tulku.
3. Case of Lobsang Gyatso is non-bailable,
His two statements on Guru Tulku are (i) Guru Tulku should remain out of this hydel project matter. (ii) He as a non monpa should not encourage the coming up of such mega dangerous projects that are harmful to inhabitants of Tawang. It is not defaming. And the case doesn't seem too serious for them to come on the street.
Moreover, his statements are nothing compare to ZPM Lobsang Yonten who in publicly threatened to kill Lama Lobsang Gyatso for enlightening the Local people about ecosystem and protection of environment.
To sum up, Lama Lobsang Gyatso's arrest under non bailable warrant is unconstitutional.
The local people came out in support of Lama Lobsang Gyatso's unlawfull arrest and demonstrated peacefully near the police station in Tawang. It is believed that a large number of people voluntarily came to recieve Lama Lobsang Gyatso after his lawyer filed in the court of district magistrate for his release, however after prolonged waiting yet still the process kept delaying. Although the people gathered were peaceful in nature became anxious. The police instead resorted to firing upon unarmed and peaceful demonstrators indiscriminately killing six people mostly young and children.
Background of Lama Lobsang Gyatso: Lama Lobsang Gyatso, General Secretary of the Save Mon Region Federation, spearheading the anti-hydro power movement in Mon Region.
He is likely made a political target by the higher authorities to remove him from fulfilling their own greed through selling large acres of forest cover putting the entire ecosystem and environment in danger. Lama Gyatso was enlightening the masses on the evil effects of mega dam constructions and their consequences in the near future.
What we demand now: We demand JUSTICE for those six people who were innocent and unarmed but still killed. Why?
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