Neelim Mahanta, a well-known Assamese graffiti artist who has worked across the state, was arrested by Arunachal Pradesh Police on Sunday in Assam’s Lakhimpur.
According to reports, the artist was arrested on Sunday for his artwork protesting the mega river dam project.
Neelim Mahanta was charged with creating the artwork and writing the words “No More Dams” on a memorial wall ‘Wall Of Harmony” commemorating Arunachal Pradesh’s 50th anniversary of independence.
Neelim Mahanta was apprehended by Arunachal Police in Lakhimpur, Assam, and is being held at the Itanagar police station on non-bailable charges.
According to sources, Neelim Mahantawas invited to Arunachal Pradesh to paint graffiti in protest of the construction of a dam in Dibang.
Moreover, the graffiti was created in response to a protest in Arunachal Pradesh over a proposed 57000 MW Mega Dam.
Local organisations have demanded his immediate release, claiming that Neelim was invited to paint the graffiti by locals in Arunachal and was even paid for it.
Neelim, is well known as Mahant, and is a great graffiti artist from Northeast India.
Neelim has been painting since he was in the second grade, and he has participated in numerous street art, public art, graffiti, and commissioning projects since then.
Neelim artwork can be found in a variety of locations throughout India. Assam State Museum Mural, Street arts at Necklace Road in Hyderabad, Western Express Highway in Bombay, and AIIMS flyover in New Delhi are just a few of his works.
Neelim says, “I remember buying my first crayon in my young days in school and never stopped after that. Painting is my only expression and I’m inspired by anything and everything.”
No reason explained why Neelim Mahanta was apprehended
In the meantime, the Arunachal Pradesh Police Department has yet to explain why Neelim was detained.
Furthermore, AJP President Lurinjyoti Gogoi and local organisations have demanded that Neelim Mahanta be released immediately by the governments of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.
50th anniversary of Arunachal Pradesh Independence
On January 20, 2022, celebrations commemorating the 50th anniversary of Arunachal Pradesh’s conception and existence began in Ziro, the same location where Indira Gandhi officially named and designated Arunachal Pradesh as a Union Territory 50 years ago.
This year’s celebrations have two major themes: ‘Celebrating Past and Nurturing Future’ and ‘Say No to Drugs.’ A dedicated website on substance abuse will be launched as part of the ‘Say No to Drugs’ programme, which will host Tele counselling and online counselling sessions as well as testimonies from people.
A number of online and offline events are being held under the theme of “Celebrating Past and Nurturing Future.” These include the following:
Arunachal Pradesh: A Story – A theatrical production depicting the birth and evolution of Arunachal Pradesh.
Two-Day Symposium on development and change in Arunachal Pradesh in 50 years: the youth perspective in collaboration with Rajiv Gandhi University, Rono Hills
Arunachal Pradesh: A One-Day Conclave on the Emergence of a State Identity in the Assembly.
AIMF Online Competitions – Online entries of creative interpretation of ‘Humara Arunachal’ and guitar-solo competition organised by Arunachal Independent Musicians Forum (AIMF).
History and the Moving Image – A film festival with a workshop led by well-known filmmakers.
Climate Change and the Future of Arunachal Pradesh – A two-day seminar and workshop on climate change and the future of Arunachal Pradesh.
Mist From the Mountains – To raise brand awareness in the national arena, an event will be held in both Delhi and Mumbai.
Wall of Harmony – An art project at the Secretariat Building Wall in Itanagar. The artworks will showcase the state’s rich heritage and diversity in a contemporary manner—depictions of the state’s tribes, flora and fauna, monuments, arts and crafts will be displayed on the wall.
Moreover, a number of digitally organised attractions for residents of the state are now being held.