Itanagar, Nov 18 : Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Friday unveiled a statue of late Nabam Runghi, who founded the capital city Itanagar, which was a small village before 1974.
Initially, the Arunachal Pradesh capital was in Naharlogun and the foundation stone in Itanagar was laid by then President late V.V. Giri on April 20, 1974.
Unveiling the statue at the inter-state bus terminal at Lekhi, near here, the Chief Minister hailed Rungh’s perseverance and pursuit to establish the then administrative capital of North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) at its present location.
He carried bricks from Ita fort, a 500-year-old heritage, to then Assam capital Shillong to prove that Itanagar is a major historical place and worthy to be made capital, Khandu said.
He said that Runghi, the first agency council member of the then NEFA, convinced then Assam Governor B.K. Nehru to make Itanagar the capital of the state.
“This exemplifies his love for his land and people and his farsightedness for the development of his native place,” Khandu said and called himself fortunate to have met Runghi in person at his office after assuming the charge as Chief Minister.
He also expressed gratitude to the family members of Runghi, who were present on the occasion, including his wife and children.
The state government had named the bus terminal Nabam Runghi Inter-State Bus Terminal in his memory in 2020.
Runghi was conferred with the state gold medal by the state government in recognition of his contributions in 2017.
Arunachal became a full-fledged state on February 20, 1987.
Till 1972, it was known as the NEFA administered by the Ministry of External Affairs with the Governor of Assam acting as agent to the President of India.
It gained Union Territory status on January 20, 1972 when it was renamed as Arunachal Pradesh.