Internet Services Snapped in India's Itanagar After Youth Association Calls for Shutdown
07:28 GMT 13.01.2022 (Updated: 18:55 GMT 19.10.2022)
The premier youth association of the Nyishi tribe has levelled corruption charges against Arunachal Pradesh State Chief Pema Khandu and his relatives. They have been alleged to be involved in a multi-million dollar scam and it is claimed that the state chief misused the funds allotted to various departments.
Internet services in the Itanagar district of India's Arunachal Pradesh have been snapped for 48 hours after a youth association - the All Nyishi Youth Association (ANYA) - called for an Itanagar Capital Region (ICR) shutdown (closing down of markets, offices, etc. in the capital region) from Thursday, seeking State Chief Pema Khandu's resignation.
The district administration in the state capital Itanagar ordered internet service providers to shut down "mobile internet including wi-fi services" in the region, starting from 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
On 10 December 2021, ANYA, the premier youth association of the Nyishi tirbe, had levelled corruption charges against Khandu, asking him to respond within 15 days. On 30 December, the group sought Khandu's resignation within seven days for failing to respond to the charges.
Addressing reporters on 10 January, ANYA President Byabang Joram asserted that "despite repeated ultimatums given to the state government for clarifying the allegations against State Chief Pema Khandu, he has failed to respond to our demands".
ANYA has been left with no choice but to launch a democratic movement by calling a 36-hour ICR shutdown, he added.
Joram said that the association would revoke the proposed shutdown call if the state government addressed its demands before the day of the proposed closure. "If any unfortunate violence occurs during the shutdown call, the government shall be responsible for it".
Meanwhile, State Chief Khandu has deemed the shutdown "politically motivated" and urged people to oppose it.
"ANYA is a youth organisation and just a platform and there are a few groups with vested political interests that want to use the same and cause law and order issues in Itanagar and Naharlagun", Khandu said.
The state chief, however, added that the Home Department is keeping a tab on all such developments.
Stating that the government has already invited ANYA to come forward for talks, Khandu also appealed to the people to not turn it into a communal issue.