Is this some kind of a racial attack on Apatani? Three cold blooded murders in three years in Ziro, the home of Apatanis! Two outside Ziro this year itself. List is long when we talk of last three, four years. The people of Ziro have been feeling the pain for long. They have been waiting for law to take its own course and found that laws are not equal to all. They took out peaceful procession praying for justice and security of life in many occassions but their cries fell on deaf ears. Non-violence used to be a sign of strength but to them it appears to be a sign of weakness. Tolerance is virtue of brave heart but it made them appear to be chicken hearted.
Aggrieved by the murder of an unsuspecting school boy, walking on the road, for no reason, a group of concerned citizen of Ziro along with friends and well wisher of the deceased's family call on Deputy Commissioner with same old strategy of prayer and petition but they found that she was only as good as when she was absent. Her fleeing the scene in such fragile law and order situation is on every body’s lips (misplaced belief or real, whatever). Moreover, Deputy Commissioner is quoted to have made an escapist remark. “What can district administration do as long as the people of the valley brew wine in their home?”
Well, dozen of registered wine shops are doing businesses in Hapoli even as curfew has been clamped on to defuse the tension.
Having got the spark that was needed to ignite the fire, thing changed for good or for bad on the day of November 3. Unarmed and non-violent group of people turn into a mob. Stones, sticks and wooden logs lying on roadsides become their tool. DC office, Police Station and DC’s residence were ransacked. One car was burnt and some others damaged. There was no visible resistance from police and security personals. “Indeed!” The mob said “if District Administration can’t do anything for its citizen what’s the use of office buildings and police station.”
Unfortunate! Citizen took the law in their hand. A condemnable act in strongest term .
What worried me is the reaction of the people in general towards this act of misdeed. Wave of satisfaction spread across the valley on news of ransacking of DC Office Complex and Police Station.This is an eye opener, I’m told by hundreds of them. It’s horrible! This is not the Apatanis I know. It never happened in history of Ziro. I hardly see any regret shown by ordinary Apatanis for what the mob has done. What used to be a proper thing became improper and improper thing became proper. Who is to blame?
A week passed by but their anger has not died yet.There is total public distrust towards district administration. Some sort of examplery punishment to the murderers only would give some healing touch.
Amidst all these chaos there was one good news: anger was vented against district administration but no single word of communal tone was heard.
Importantly, this episode has exposed the state of policing in one of the most populous and happening town of Arunachal Pradesh. Around two hours of mayhem but police were nowhere controlling the mob. One can guage from this as to how crime can be controlled in the town.
It is a difficult time for people as well as district administration. Damages have been made to the public properties and to the psyche of the people. But a line from P.B Shelley’s poem worth a quote “If winter has come, would spring be far behind.”