Union minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday ruled out the imposition of President’s rule in Arunachal Pradesh, which witnessed widespread violence in the past four days, and said the state government could not communicate properly to the people on the contentious Permanent Residence Certificate issue, leading to the unrest.
Rijiju also said the Pema Khandu-led Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state should take all possible steps, including initiating dialogue with the civil society, to bring normalcy as early as possible, as there was confusion on the issue of granting PRC to six communities.
“There is no question of imposition of President’s rule. The state government should immediately work for restoring peace and bringing back normalcy. The protests took place as the state government could not communicate properly to the people on the issue of PRC,” he said.
Rijiju also denied that there was any move to replace Chief Minister Pema Khandu by the ruling BJP.
The Congress has demanded the chief minister’s resignation and the imposition of President’s rule in the state.
At least three people lost their lives during violent protests over granting the PRC to six non-Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe communities living in Namsai and Changlang districts -- Deoris, Sonowal-Kacharis, Morans, Adivasis and Mishings -- and to the Gorkhas living in Vijaynagar.
Most of these communities are recognised as Scheduled Tribes in neighbouring Assam.
Rijiju, who hails from Arunachal Pradesh, said the state government should give compensation to those who were killed and those who received injuries.
“The Home Minister (Rajnath Singh) and I have spoken to the governor and the chief minister and told them that peace must be prevailed and adequate compensation should be given to the victims of police firing,” he said.
The union minister of state for home also blamed the Congress for “politicising” the PRC issue and said the Narendra Modi-led central government has done tremendous work for the development of Arunachal Pradesh as well for the entire Northeastern region and all such initiatives should not go in vain due to protests and violence.
“Arunachal Pradesh is a peaceful state and its people are peace loving. The state government should talk to all concerned people and organisations so that peace and harmony come back. I am told the situation is now under fully control,” he said.
Army patrolled the streets of Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar on Monday as people gathered on streets defying curfew despite the chief minister’s assurance that grant of PRC to six non-native communities in the state was a “closed issue”.
Curfew that was clamped in Itanagar and adjoining Naharlagun town on Saturday, but it did not deter protesters from venturing into the troubled streets that were scene of pitched battles with security forces over the last three days that left three people dead, including two in police firing on Sunday.
No major incident of violence has been reported from anywhere since Monday morning as Arunachal Scouts, an infantry regiment of the army trained in mountain warfare, marched through the streets of the two towns to instill confidence among people and ward off possible violence, officials said.