India: Arunachal anti-dam activists detained ahead of Union Minister’s visit

A lawyer and a farmer leader wanted to peacefully protest rampant dam building; They were detained as Minister of Power ML Khattar visits the Himalayan state

Two anti-mega dam activists from Arunachal Pradesh, Ebo Mili and Dungge Apang, were detained on July 8, ahead of Union Power Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s visit to the Northeastern state.

The duo were supposed to hand over a memorandum to Khattar at the Itanagar Secretariat, according to the Siang Indigenous Farmer’s Forum (SIFF). However, before that meeting, Itanagar Police summoned them to a police station in the state capital and detained them.

Ebo Mili, a human rights lawyer from the Idu Mishmi tribal community in Roing, is a vocal opponent of the Arunachal Pradesh government’s plans to build mega dams in the state. He was arrested on an earlier occasion as well in connection with an anti-dam mural being painted on a building in Itanagar.

On July 8, Mili received a phone call from a police station in Itanagar, asking him his whereabouts. Mili reportedly asked for an official summon. To this, the police official said the phone call is recorded, which is to be considered as summons.

Mili insisted he had to meet the Itanagar Deputy Commissioner to seek permission for a peaceful demonstration from Chandranagar to the Arunachal Press Club in order to raise awareness about “rampant building of dams and the sale of our land”.

He also planned to submit a memorandum to Khattar and organise a press conference on the issue. However, Mili was taken into custody before he could seek the permission.


India: Arunachal anti-dam activists detained ahead of Union Minister’s visit