Other States

Centre to consult residents, monks on Tawang hydel projects

Fearing Chinese support in the unrest at Tawang, a town on India-China border in Arunachal Pradesh, the government has decided not to go ahead with the planned hydroelectric projects in the district without consulting the monks, a section of whom have been protesting against the dams.

Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju told The Hindu that the power projects would not be pursued without consulting the local people and the monks.

According to officials, an anti-dam activist Lobsang Gyatso was arrested on April 28 after an audio clip surfaced where he was heard boasting about Beijing’s help to stop the projects. In the purported clip, Gyatso is heard questioning the nationality of Tawang Monastery abbot Guru Tulku Rinpoche, who has prevented monks from joining anti-dam protests. Following the arrest, Gyatso’s supporters clashed with the administration and two monks were killed in police firing. The town has been on boil since.

When asked whether the Centre was probing the China angle, Mr. Rijiju who visited Tawang, said, “It is an unfortunate incident and it is the first time that a peaceful place like Tawang has seen such a violent act. At this point, I don’t want to point fingers.”

He added that the government had already suspended the Superintendent of Police and Officer-in-Charge of Tawang.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 3:18:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/centre-to-consult-residents-monks-on-tawang-hydel-projects/article8581585.ece

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