Arunachal Pradesh violence over PRC row : Protesters burn down Dy CM, DC residences
Guwahati, Feb 24 (IBNS) : The situation in Arunachal Pradesh over the Permanent Residency Certificate (PRC) row has taken turn for worse as one protester died in police firing and several others, including four security personnel, were injured during a clash between protesters and security personnel in different parts of the state.
Curfew was imposed in Itanagar on Saturday and army was also being called as mobs protesting against the Arunachal Pradesh government's move to grant the Permanent Residency Certificates (PRCs) to non-Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe communities of Namsai and Changlang districts went on rampage indulging in arson, damages residence, offices, vehicles, stone pelting.
Law and order in Itanagar, capital city of Arunachal Pradesh worsened with protesters burnt down Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein’s multi-storeyed private residence on Sunday.
Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein was not present in the house at the moment.
The protesters also burnt the residence of the district commissioner and vandalised the city’s main police station.
The situation turned violent from Thursday after a conglomeration of 18 student and civil society organisations including the All Papum Pare District Students’ Union, the Arunachal Law Students’ Union, the Nyishi Ethnic Students’ Association and the United Arunachal Indigenous People’s Forum called a state wide bandh opposing the proposal to grant PRCs to non-Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe communities of Changlang and Namsai districts.
One protester was killed after sustaining bullet injuries and several people including four security personnel were injured during clash between protesters and security personnel at Naharlagun, Itanagar.
The protesters set ablaze over 60 vehicles and damaged over 100 vehicles in the state.
The protesters also burnt five theatres at Itanagar that associated with Bollywood actor-director Satish Kaushik.
Satish Kaushik and 50 other delegates including singers, who were evacuated to Guwahati after the 1st Itanagar International Film Festival was cancelled following the violence.
On Saturday, four army columns conducted a flag march at Itanagar, Naharlagun and Chimpu areas to bring the situation under control, following violence.
The administration has suspended internet services in violence-hit Itanagar on Saturday.
The protesters also burnt the offices of All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) and All Nyishi Students Union (ANSU) as both student organisations had supported the recommendation of the Joint High-Power Committee (JHPC) constituted by the state government on May 1, 2018 to study to grant PRCs to six communities, who are not natives of Arunachal Pradesh, but have been living in Namsai and Changlang districts for decades.
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Feb 22 night announced that the PRC issue would not be discussed during the ongoing Assembly session.
The protesters are seeking changes in the recommendations made by the panel appointed by the state government for granting PRCs to non-Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe communities of Namsai and Changlang districts living along Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border.
A number of communities including Deoris, Sonowal Kacharis, Mishing as most of these communities are recognized as Scheduled Tribe communities in Assam, that are not recognized as Scheduled Tribes (STs) in Arunachal Pradesh have been demanding that they should be provided with PRCs as they have been living in the state for decades.
Most of these communities are recognized as Scheduled Tribe communities in Assam.
The Arunachal Pradesh government has issues the Permanent Residence Certificate (PRC) to the residents of the state who stayed therein over a period.
PRC is a legal document in Arunachal Pradesh that serves as an evidence of residence and thus must be submitted wherever a residence proof is required and it is used for admission in educational organisations, job reservation under specific quotas especially for government jobs etc. to get local preferences, for ration card, to avail the provisions of various schemes of the state or to claim scholarships of the state.
(Inputs and Pictures by Hemanta Kumar Nath, Guwahati)