Itanagar: All India Forum of Forest Movements (AIFFM) has urged Arunachal Pradesh government to stop use of armed forces in dealing with mass protests against construction of big dams in Siang belt, Dibang Valley and other parts of the state.
Pointing out the reported use of force for public hearing for hydro projects in Siang belt, the Forum said high-handed approach displayed by both Assam and Arunachal Pradesh against the protesters of dam in recent past is a "clear violation" of the democratic rights and aspiration of the indigenous and river basin communities.
In Siang and Dibang Valley, public hearings had to be cancelled because of people`s opposition to hydro projects many a times in the last five years, the forum said in a communique on Saturday.
"Police and para military forces were amassed as a show of brute strength by the state to forcibly organise the public hearings. The tactics to muzzle dissenting voices against destructive development projects are on the increase in Arunachal Pradesh," it said.
The forum condemned the use of forces to deal with the legitimate, democratic, peaceful and non violent people`s protests` against hydro projects in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and in other parts of the North-East.
The Forum further demanded the Arunachal Pradesh government to review all the MoUs signed against various hydro-power projects.
"The MoUs were signed with power developers many of whom are completely new to dam building. Moreover, the projects are being developed without any meaningful consultation with the affected communities," it added.
Opposing the ongoing construction of Lower Subansiri project at Gerukamukh, the Forum called upon the authorities to take note of the various independent studies on the downstream impact of the project.