ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Development with Brutality

Increasing recourse to repression indicates that the state is losing the argument over "development".

On 5 October 2011, the police and security forces fired at people celebrating Durga Puja in Roing town of Lower Dibang Valley district, Arunachal Pradesh. At the time of writing, nine students have been hospitalised with serious injuries and are reported to be in a critical state.

The context behind this particular act of state-terror is the forthcoming public hearing for the Dibang multipurpose project slated to be held on 24 October 2011 in Roing town. Arunachal has been identified for a slew of dams on its rivers and the 3,000 megawatt (MW) Dibang project is among the bigger ones (with the proposed dam being the world’s tallest concrete gravity dam at 288 metres). Other projects are slated for the Siang and Subansiri rivers. The resultant dislocation and destruction of local populations and ecologies is expected to be large and has led to strong opposition from the people. The central and state governments have only offered vague and, as has been shown almost always in other cases, doubtful assurances about relief and rehabilitation.

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