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Road Inauguration Leads to a Controversy In Arunachal Pradesh, BRO Shows Kimin In Assam

Itanagar: Ever since the inauguration of Kimin-Potin double lane road by defence minister Rajnath Singh on June 17, there has been unrest in Arunachal Pradesh over Border Roads Organisation (BRO) renaming Kimin as Bilgarh and as a part of Assam.

While the event took place in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police headquarters in Kimin in Arunachal Pradesh, the press release of  the Ministry of Defence about the event stated that the event took place at Baligarh in Lakhimpur district, Assam. 

Kimin is a part of Papumpare district in Arunachal Pradesh, however there are reports that before the inaugural program, BRO covered signboards with white paste on all the places where Kimin was written on the road sides. Locals of Kimin, students and politicians are strongly voicing against the act which has raised a controversy in the state since then.

On June 22 the students body, All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) lodged an FIR against the BRO at Itanagar Police Station for showing the Kimin town as a part of Assam during the event.

Alleging the BRO deliberately took such a step, AAPSU president Hawa Bagang said. “BRO has done several projects in the state and they know that Kimin is an integral part of Arunachal Pradesh, yet they deliberately tried to misguide the people.”

AAPSU has threatened to launch protests if BRO fails to apologize for their act within ten days.

The Nyishi Elite Society (NES) on Wednesday demanded the Arunachal government and centre to engage the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to investigate the Kimin issue.

Stating that it’s a conspiracy, Bengia Tolum NES president said, “The then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi came to Ziro in the year 1972 and renamed the state as Arunachal Pradesh. If  she had no fear of China, then what made Defense Minister Rajnath Singh to panic.”

Meanwhile, justifying their action the BRO official stated, “It was a strategic move to avoid any unnecessary reaction from the neighbouring country China.”

While briefing the media, Chief Minister Pema Khandu termed the incident as unfortunate on the part of BRO. “The Arunachal government came to know about the inauguration programme quite late. The leaders from Kimin informed the government that the signboards displaying Arunachal’s name and other mentions of the state were being covered with white paste.”

“Taking the matter seriously, we have already briefed the Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Kiren Rijiju who had accompanied the defence minister during the event,” Khandu added.

Requesting people not to ignite the issue, he further added, “We are determined to resolve this border issue.” 

Meanwhile, Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Kiren Rijiju also termed the BRO’s action a ‘gross mistake’ and that needs urgent rectification. Rijiu posted his opinion on his social media.

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