Pema Khandu | File photo

Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu described that coming of premier investigating agencies – CBI and ED – to the state to probe the APPSC paper leak case as a “big blow to all corrupt enjoying and roaming freely in the state”.

Khandu was chairing a day-long interactive session with the representatives of all community-based organizations (CBOs) of the state active under the umbrella of Arunachal Indigenous Tribes Forum (AITF) in Itanagar on April 12.

While claiming that cases of corruption and crime have come down under his government due to “instant and strong actions initiated”, Pema Khandu said: “However, the government can’t do anything alone. We – the CBOs and the government – need to work as team Arunachal to thwart these ills.”

“The meeting discussed various issues confronting the state to chalk out a way forward to build Arunachal Pradesh of everyone’s dream,” a statement from the CMO said.

Responding to the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) paper leakage fiasco that took centerstage during the discussion, Khandu shared that as per public demand and on state government’s request the country’s top probe agencies – Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) – have taken over the case and investigating the case independently.

He said that cases of corruption are not new but have been in practice since many years. These are today in limelight because his government has been dealing each case with iron hands, he asserted.

“Corruption, drugs, law and order are not new issues. These have been prevailing since last many years but no government ever took strong action to curb these. Just because we are dealing these ills with iron hands, it feels like these are issues of our time,” he said.

Khandu asserted that the CBOs have a huge responsibility to enthuse a sense of discipline amongst its community members, lack of which, he claimed, is mother to all issues.

The chief minister, meanwhile, proposed that the interactive event should be made an annual event, wherein the state government could discuss issues confronting the society with specific facts and figures with members of the CBOs.

At the end of the meeting, a joint resolution was signed by the state government represented by the chief secretary and the leaders of the CBOs.

The key resolutions include: Promoting inter-tribe harmony and building composite culture of Arunachal Pradesh; preserving, protecting and promoting the indigenous culture and traditions of the state while helping youths imbibe and propagate own cultures; reorienting obsolete and unhealthy practices affecting lives, health and livelihoods of citizens; improving access to education for all children of school-going age, especially higher education, ensuring age-appropriate enrolment of students in schools, mainstreaming drop-out children, helping improve learning outcomes for students and inculcating 21st century skills.

Deputy chief minister Chowna Mein, home minister Bamang Felix, chief secretary Dharmendra, and AITF president Bengia Tolum, among others attended the meeting.

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