Naharlagun (Arunachal Pradesh), July 21: The dawn-to-dusk shutdown called by Congress Party here over a demand for the immediate transfer of acting state chief secretary Satya Gopal had a partial affect.
Home Parliamentary Secretary Pani Taram was taking rounds with the police from Chimpu to Banderdewa to ensure no untoward incident takes place.
Capital DC Prince Dhawan, senior officers and magistrates, including police personnel were spread all over, getting a few shops opened which had downed their shutters. An officer took pictures of closed shops and warned their owners that their trade licenses would be cancelled if they did resume business.
Public transport was plying as usual, but many commuters and vehicle owners were apprehensive that they could face the wrath of those spearheading the shutdown.
State government spokesman Bamang Felix told media persons that the masses openly defied the shutdown call as the Congress lacked any valid issue, and had only picked a ‘non-issue’ randomly, which was unbecoming of the country’s oldest party.
A senior minister told Congress representatives that they were wrong to call for a shutdown and tried to convince not to be anti-Arunachal or anti-development.
He termed the shutdown a complete failure as all security arrangements were in place and Chief Minister Pema Khandu was monitoring the situation.
“The entire governance machinery was busy in restoring normalcy from the untold miseries brought on by recent unprecedented rains that claimed many precious lives. But what the Congress shutdown did was against the public, which has rejected the politics of shutdown culture,” Felix said.
He claimed that there was no impact on state government offices and added that schools had recorded 100 percent attendance, markets remained open and transport plied normally with excellent deployment of forces.
On the other hand, however, the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) issued a release in which it thanked traders, transporters, wage earners, state government employees, students and the public for their moral support.
The APCC took a dig at BJP president Tapir Gao for digging its own grave by issuing a provocative circular to direct party workers to counter the shutdown.
The state government was also accused of safeguarding a tainted officer under transfer. It said that the deployment of paramilitary forces from outside had created fear psychosis among the masses.
It asked the state government to give the reason for not releasing Gopal, who was transferred by the Home Ministry in May last year. (ANI)