Friday, February 8, 2008

Spark is Being Neglected

- Gyati Tallo

On the fateful day of the January 19, 2008, the people of Ziro Valley were shocked at the news of the gruesome incident of murder of a young boy by his friends. The turn of events that followed was no less shocking to the mute spectator of the valley:

Apatanis working in Raga area suffered the backlashes. They and their relatives back home spent two long days under mental agony. They were harassed for no fault of their. A motor bike of one of them which was parked in front of his quarter was damaged. There were instances of some people forcibly entering the houses with intent of grievous physical harm. Thanks to the few good people there in Raga but for whose timely intervention things could have gone worse. Finally, on the January 21, Apatanis of Raga and its adjoining area have to flee for their life.

Just as Apatani people were fleeing from Raga area, a mob of people, apparently the relatives of the deceased, who arrived Ziro the previous day, loaded in Tata mobile vans and motor bikes, all armed with daos, took the body of the deceased and buried it inside the Subansiri Stadium (more commonly known as General Ground). District administration did nothing to stop them. Moreover, on the same day, three cows were slaughtered by the mob. Two near the burial place and one in roadside at Nenchalya, old Ziro, on their way back to Raga. For the innocent owners of the cows it was like attempt on their life.

However, the silver lining in the entire episode was that the victims of the backlashes and their relatives lived up to the age old reputation of the Apatanis. They patiently turn to the District Administration for justice instead of turning their anger and frustration on the innocent people from Raga area residing and working in Ziro.

Now, more than two weeks have passed since but the District Administration is still indecisive about whether to allow the construction of cemetery at the burial place or to exhume the body and shift it to different location. Neither has it initiated any action against the ones who harassed the innocent people and damaged their properties. However, in an apparent show of boldness, S.D.O Raga on the behalf of District Administration told the victims of the backlashes to go back to their respective working places.

That was how the incident of January 19 has unfolded so far. Whether the body of the deceased is exhumed or not, I expected that the District Administration will take appropriate action against the person involved in harassment of innocent people and destruction of their properties. I also expected that the general public of Raga area and their leaderships, particularly, will come out in open to criticize harassment of innocent people. Unfortunately, neither has happened. Can any sensible person go back to their working places in remote areas under such circumstances?

District Administration seems to work on this principle: the time will heal the wound so put everything into closet for the time being. I feel, in that process a spark is being neglected. With rumour mills doing around, I just hope it does not flare up into flame.

Related reading:-
Are we heading towards (un)civilization?


  • speechmaker

    is there anybody from Raga reading this? please do something to help realise the matter...

    what has happened here is not the way we should be going ahead, can we get some connections to help those who have had to leave Raga at the least?

    That would signal positive actions... because i truly believe that the burial issue would go nowhere as of now, so immediate attention should be to the issue in Raga.

  • Anonymous

    This is a real shocking news!!!
    why one has to suffer for other's evil deeds????

    Instead of harming innocent people, why are they not taking the route of justice for finding the main culprits???This trend of communal practices should not be encouraged.


    ANSU leader's intervention in discouraging such matter would surely help. This kind of incidents happens very often.

  • pige

    The incident that happened after the gruesome murder shouldnot have happened,after all ziro(hapoli) is the district headquarters of both the communities living in lower subansiri district though it is a different matter that allotment of land within the township to the other community has seldom been done.the administration should have taken help of the social organisation of the other community in defusing the crisis because whatever may be the reason for murder it certainly has the potential to turn communal and endanger the fragile peace that hangs over the plateau.the Apatani brothers should also understand the sentiments of the grieving family and now instead of stoking the fire should exercise restraint and after a certain cooling-of period enter into a dialogue with the elders of the victim's community and try to exhume the body and give a decent burial at the birth place of the victim.

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