New Delhi: Two people have been killed in police firing as protests against a government panel’s report which suggested granting permanent resident certificates (PRCs) to six communities escalated in Arunachal Pradesh. If reports are to be believed, police opened fire when protesters did not pay heed to their request and tried to attack the private residence of Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu at ESS sector in capital Itanagar on Sunday noon. Also Read - Surya Grahan 2021 LIVE: Latest Updates From Today's Solar Eclipse
“They were among those trying to attack the CM residence. They tried to break the barricades despite warning,”Arunachal minister Bamang Felix told a leading daily, while speaking about the deaths of protesters. Also Read - Randeep Hooda Requests AP CM To Help Pakke Tiger Reserve's Frontline Workers In Getting Their Pending Wages
Besides, the protesters also set ablaze the residence of Chowna Mein, Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister and ransacked the office of the deputy commissioner. Police said that a large number of people marched through the streets vandalising public property and vehicles. They also set on fire a large number of vehicles parked in the compound of the DC’s office. Also Read - Heavy Rain Submerges Arunachal Pradesh Capital; Buildings, National Highway-415 Affected
“The agitators attacked the Itanagar Police station and several public properties in the state capital. They damaged the Sohum shopping mall and looted the valuables, besides setting ablaze a market complex in Naharlagun,” police told news agency PTI.
It has also been speculated that President’s Rule would now be implemented in the state to control the situation.
On Sunday, Minister of state Kiren Rijiju, who belongs to Arunachal Pradesh said that the state government has decided to not accept the recommendations of a high-level committee to grant permanent resident certificates to six communities, and blamed the Congress for “instigating” a section of people.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister is expected to hold an all-party meeting today to take stock of the situation and decide on future course of action. He had called up the meeting on Sunday but none of the parties, including the opposition Congress, NPP and PPA turned up, following which the meeting has been rescheduled on Monday.
How it started?
The Joint High Power Committee (JHPC), after holding parleys with the stakeholders, recommended granting PRCs 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 would be compromised if the state government accepts them. The recommendation of the JHPC was supposed to be tabled in the Assembly on Saturday, but it did not happen as the speaker adjourned the House sine die.
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, while markets, petrol pumps and shops were closed. Most ATMs in the state capital were out of cash, police said.
The agitators have been demanding permanent resolution to the PRC issue, immediate resignation of the chief minister, unconditional release of protesters (numbering around 40) and immediate transfer of the chief secretary, among others.
Several community-based groups and students’ organisations claimed that the rights and the interests of indigenous people will be compromised if the state government accepts the JHPC’s recommendation.