TDP News Desk

ITANAGAR, Jul 8: Anti-dam activists Ebo Mili and Dugge Apang were today detained ahead of Union Power Minister Manohar Lal Khattar's visit to the state capital.

The police said tha the detentions were made following "credible information" that Mili and Apang, along with members of the Siang Indigenous Farmers’ Forum, planned to disrupt the upcoming event.

Mili, residing at Niti Vihar, was taken into custody for questioning at 8:50 AM. Apang, convenor of the Siang Indigenous Farmers’ Forum, was apprehended at Niti Vihar Police Station at noon.

The police said that it was a "precautionary measure to maintain public order"

The detentions were carried out under the direction of the executive magistrate of Itanagar, and the two were bound down under Section 128 of the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS).

No arrests were made, and both individuals were released after the necessary legal formalities.

Mili and Apang, key figures in the recent anti-dam movement, have been vocal about their opposition to the proposed 11,000 MW Upper Siang Multipurpose Storage Project.

A letter addressed to Khattar highlighted their grievances and called for reconsideration of the dam projects, emphasizing sustainable development alternatives such as solar and wind energy. The activists stress that these projects threaten the delicate ecosystems, biodiversity, and the way of life for indigenous communities.

The activists, representing Siang Indigenous Farmers Forum, Dibang Resistance, and North East Human Rights, have been advocating for the amendment of the Arunachal Pradesh State Hydropower Policy 2008 to prioritize community well-being and environmental conservation over corporate profits.

Mili, a human rights advocate, has been detained multiple times for his activism against hydropower projects. His past detentions include an arrest in March 2022 for a graffiti protest and another in August 2023 for distributing pamphlets against hydropower agreements signed in the presence of the union power minister.

The detained activists' groups plan to submit a representation to the minister, urging a halt to further dam projects and emphasizing the importance of sustainable development and community-led conservation efforts.

The activists have called for public support in their ongoing struggle against large-scale hydropower projects. They argue that the government's current approach threatens the ecological balance and the rights of indigenous populations.

Meanwhile, the minister along with chief minister Pema Khandu and deputy chief minister Chowna Mein held detailed progress review of hydropower projects being implemented in the state by various CPSUs including NHPC Limited, SJVNL, NEEPCO & THDC.

A statement from the NHPC said that "various challenges involved for effective execution of these projects were discussed and addressed" during the meeting.