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36-hour Arunachal bandh begins agaisnt lotttery scandal

Written by: Staff
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Itanagar, Aug 25: Life was badly affected in Arunachal Pradesh today following 36-hour state-wide bandh called by the All Arunachal Pradesh Donyi-Polo Vidhya Bhawan Raffle Lottery Ticket Holders' Committee (AAPDPVBRLTHC) in protest against 'unfair' draw of a lottery.

The bandh which began at 0500 hours this morning was total as all the business establishments, commercial institutions, post offices and educational institutions remained closed. Public and private transport remained off the roads. However, state service buses were seen plying with escort. The government offices too recorded thin attendance.

Barring a few stray incidents of stone pelting, so far no untoward incident had been reported from any part of the state.

''The bandh is absolutely peaceful throughout the state and we are making elaborate security arrangements to provide security to the people'', Director General of Police Amod K Kanth said.

This was the second phase of agitation launched by the AAPDPVBRLTHC, the first being a 12-hour Itanagar bandh on August 21 last.

The draw of the lottery which was organised in aid of Donyi Polo Vidya Bhawan, a reputed institution of the state, had snowballed into a major crisis, as the prizes were allegedly won by the committee members and relatives of Chief Minister Gegong Apang, who is the chairman of the institute.

The state unit of BJP, All Arunachal Pradesh Students' Union (AAPSU), All Nyishi Students' Union (ANSU) and Arunachal Chambers of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) have already extended their support to the agitating people and urged the committee to re-think its decision and to re-schedule the game to ease out the ongoing tension.

AAPDPVBRLTHC president Toko Doni has said the bandh would be carried out and appealed to the citizens to support the strike for legitimate demands of the common masses.

Highlighting demands of the aggrieved ticket holders, Doni urged parents of the Doni-Polo Vidhya Bhawan to withdraw their wards from the school till a concrete solution was meted out on the issue. "The safety of children and the school can not be guaranteed by us and parents should bear with us in the fight against a common state issue", he added.

Among other demands of the AAPDPVBRLTHC included refund of the cost of lottery ticket or immediate fair re-draw of the Donyi Polo Vidya Bhawan raffle, which should be taken up by the state lottery department and monitored by Papum Pare deputy commissioner as judge, a secretary on behalf of the state chief secretary, a prominent public leader, besides presence of the chief minister himself along with public.

The AAPDPVBRLTHC also demanded resignation of the Chief Minsiter on moral ground, dropping of the state Public Health Engineering and Water Supply minister, immediate suspension of extra assistant commissioner Naharlagun and PS to PHE&WS minister for unfair conduct of the raffle draw, and immediate registration of FIR at Itanagar police station against raffle organising committee.

UNI

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