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Arunachal House passes Bill to prevent bandh damage

By Correspondent

ITANAGAR, March 3 - The Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly today passed the Arunachal Pradesh Properties (Prevention of Damage and Loss) Bill, 2020, by a voice vote after a lengthy discussion.

The Bill, which was introduced by Home Minister Bamang Felix on the opening day of the Budget session on Monday, provides for prevention of loss and damage to any property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto during bandhs.

During the discussion, members cutting across political affiliations, unequivocally supported the Bill and pitched for its passage. Responding to members� observations and suggestions, the Home Minister categorically said that the Bill would neither stop anybody to form any union or association or prevent anyone from launching any democratic agitation.

�The proposed legislation is a way forward. We are not preventing anybody from calling bandhs. The effect of this legislation will be seen only after any bandh-related damage,� he said.

�This Bill is a skeleton. When the Governor�s assent is received, there will be certain rules, and the suggestions of the members can be incorporated,� he assured the House.

The Home Minister further said the law would fix responsibility, and all those who try to mobilise bandh supporters in the wrong direction, destroying and damaging properties, would have to face this law.

After the Governor�s assent, officials of the Home Department will go for an information, education and communication campaign to make people aware of the new legislation, Felix said.

�With this Bill, we may, to some extent, bring back the lost glory of Arunachal Pradesh which was once known as the �Island of Peace�. Let us transform our State to make it a better place to live in,� he said.

Earlier, participating in the discussion, senior Congress member Ninong Ering appreciated the Bill and said it was a �bold move� by the State Government.

Highlighting the ugly face of agitations and strikes, BJP MLA Nyato Rigia said, �Past mistakes should not be repeated. Laisam Simai said, �I believe with the passage of this Bill, the Government will be able to contain the unprecedented property damage during bandh calls.

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