» News » Protests intensify in Arunachal over PRC, dy CM's house vandalised

Protests intensify in Arunachal over PRC, dy CM's house vandalised

Source: PTI
February 24, 2019 17:52 IST

Defying curfew, agitators allegedly set ablaze the private residence of Arunachal Pradesh deputy chief minister Chowna Mein and ransacked the office of the deputy commissioner in Itanagar on Sunday to protest against recommendations to grant permanent resident certificates to six communities, police said.

A large number of people marched through streets in Itanagar damaging public property and vehicles after a person who was injured in police firing on Friday succumbed to injuries at a hospital, police said.

The protesters set ablaze the private residence of the deputy chief minister at Niti Vihar and ransacked the office of the deputy commissioner of Itanagar.


They also set on fire a large number of vehicles parked in the compound of the DC's office.

The protesters also attacked the Itanagar Police station and several public properties in the state capital, police said.

The agitators also blocked the road leading to the Naharlagun railway station as a result many passengers, including patients, were held up at the station since Sunday morning.

An indefinite curfew was clamped in Itanagar and Naharlagun on Saturday as protesters resorted to stone pelting in which 35 people, including 24 police personnel, were injured.

The Army had also conducted flag marches in Itanagar and Naharlagun on Saturday.

Internet services remained suspended in Itanagar and Naharlagun.

All markets, petrol pumps and shops were closed and most of the ATMs in the state capital were out of cash, police said.

Over 60 vehicles, including many police vehicles, were set ablaze and over 150 vehicles were damaged by the protesters since Friday, they said.

On Saturday, the agitators damaged the stage of the Itanagar International Film Festival at the Indira Gandhi Park in Itanagar. The organisers later called off the film festival.

The Joint High Power Committee, after holding parleys with the stakeholders, recommended granting permanent resident certificates to six communities, who are not natives of Arunachal Pradesh but has been living in Namsai and Changlang districts for decades.

The proposals evoked resentment among several community-based groups and students' organisations, who claimed that the rights and the interests of indigenous people will be compromised if the state government accepts them.

The recommendation of the JHPC was supposed to be tabled in the Assembly on Saturday but was not tabled as the Speaker adjourned the House sine die.

On Saturday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh appealed to the people of Arunachal Pradesh to remain calm and maintain peace.

He also spoke to Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, who briefed him about the prevailing situation in the border state.

Union minister Kiren Rijiju has accused the Congress of instigating the people of Arunachal Pradesh to protest against the move to grant permanent resident certificates to six communities living in the state.

Rijiju also said that Arunachal Pradesh CM has clarified that the state government was not bringing the bill on PRC but only tabling report of the Nabam Rebia-led Joint Hight Powered Committee comprising members and student organisations.

"It means the state government has not accepted it. In fact, Congress is fighting for PRC but instigating people wrongly," he tweeted.

Rebia is a cabinet minister in the state government.

Rijiju alleged that the Congress has supported and "instigated" non-Arunachal Pradesh STs in Lekang area to fight for PRC but in Itanagar "misguided" the innocent people.

"From the beginning I have strongly urged the state government not to grant PRC unless people are convinced of full protection of indigenous rights. We must stand united," he said.

IMAGES: Violence protests breaks out in Itanagar over the Arunachal Pradesh government's decision to grant permanent resident certificates to six communities. Photographs: ANI
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