Arunachal Pradesh drops PRC amid violent protests

Arunachal Pradesh drops PRC amid violent protests

Private residence (not official) of Arunachal deputy CM Chowna Mein set ablaze.

Amid violent protests in Arunachal Pradesh, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju said Sunday the state government has decided to not accept the recommendations of a high-level committee to grant permanent resident certificates (PRC) to six communities.

In separate tweets, Rijiju said the Arunachal Pradesh government has passed an order to not accept the recommendations of the Joint High-Powered Committee to grant PRC to six communities living in Namsai and Changlang districts.

The development comes after violent protests rocked Itanagar on Sunday.

Three protesters were killed and six others were injured in Itanagar after an ongoing agitation against offering permanent resident certificates to six non-tribal groups took an ugly turn on Sunday.

An angry mob set ablaze Arunachal Pradesh Deputy CM’s house and the state BJP office in Itanagar on Sunday. 

When the mob tried to torch Chief Minister Pema Khandu’s residence, security forces opened fire, which led to the deaths of three youths. 

The mob first targeted Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein’s private residence in the afternoon and later attacked BJP state office in the evening.

Following the arson, Chief Minister Pema Khandu and all ministers were evacuated from Itanagar.

Sources said the state government may recommend the Centre to impose President’s rule as the situation remained volatile and the protesters refused to relent.

The protest and vandalism began on Friday during a 48-hour shut down called by at least 18 local organisations to protest the government’s move to grant PRC to the communities living in Namsai and Changlang districts. The organisations are against the move fearing that this could allow them get reservations in jobs and educational institutes meant for the STs.

The state government decided to postpone the move in view of the protests but the agitators refused to relent till chief minister resigned and seek apology for deaths of the protesters in police firing.

The army was called in on Saturday and Section 144 CrPC was clamped in Itanagar to control the situation.

The violent protests left the state government worried ahead of Assembly and Lok Sabha polls. The BJP alleged that opposition Congress was instigating the protesters to reap political mileage ahead of the elections.

Congress state president Takam Sanjoy told DH that the situation turned grim as the BJP government tried “meddle with the sensitive issue” and tried to introduce a bill in the Assembly to offer the PRC.