An Itanagar-based Market Welfare Association has shut down the capital of Arunachal Pradesh for three days after a district magistrate did not grant it permission to gamble during Diwali, Hindustan Times reported on Sunday. Gambling with dice, known as jhandi-mundi locally, is a common activity in the state during the festival even though it was banned in 2012.
The association threatened to extend the shutdown, which began on Saturday, if the Papum Pare district magistrate, SK Singh, was not transferred within three days. On Saturday, district authorities dismantled structures that were allegedly set up for the activity. Singh said the Itanagar Market Welfare Association had been illegally issuing permits to organise gambling in public places. "They tried to portray market and public areas as their property. So the police demolished the structures this [Saturday] morning," he said.
However, the chairperson of the market association, Yumlan Achung, claimed that the structures were erected to sell sweets. "The question of issuing permits for gambling does not arise since we are not a government body," Achung said.