Itanagar: The Arunachal Pradesh government scrapped the plan to give permanent resident status to two tribes from outside the state hours after agitators allegedly set ablaze state’s Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein’s residence and ransacked the office of the deputy commissioner on Sunday to protest against recommendations to grant permanent resident certificates to six communities.
People protested and marched through streets damaging public property and vehicles after a person was injured in police firing on Friday and had succumbed to injuries at a hospital. The violent mob was hell-bent on attacking Chief Minister Pema Khandu’s house in Itanagar as well, police said. They also set on fire a large number of vehicles parked in the compound of the DC’s office and attacked the Itanagar Police station and several public properties.
Meanwhile, the capital city and its adjoining areas continue to remain under curfew. The Army and six companies of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have been deployed to restore law and order.
A least 35 people including 24 police personnel were injured on Saturday as protesters resorted to stone pelting in Itanagar and Naharlagun which were under curfew.
While the Army had conducted flag marches in both the cities, internet services remained suspended. All markets, petrol pumps and shops were closed and most of the ATMs in the state capital were out of cash.
After holding several discussions with the stakeholders on Saturday, the Joint High Power Committee (JHPC), recommended granting permanent resident certificates (PRCs) to six communities, who are not natives of Arunachal Pradesh but have been living in Namsai and Changlang districts for decades.
Several community-based groups and students’ organisations resented the move and claimed that the rights and the interests of indigenous people will be compromised if the state government accepts the JHPC’s recommendation. 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.