The permanent residency certificates (PRCs) row in Arunachal Pradesh continued to surge on Sunday even as curfew was imposed on Saturday as mobs protesting against the government’s move to grant PRCs to non-Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe communities of Namsai and Changlang districts went on a rampage, indulging in arson and stone throwing. The house of Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein was burnt down as anger and unrest continued against the state government in Itanagar. The tensions escalated after a person was killed in police firing on Friday night. The police fired upon protesters when they were trying to enter the Civil Secretariat in Itanagar. Snapping of Internet services and the imposition of prohibitory orders only worsened the situation. The Army also conducted flag marches between Naharlagun and Itanagar.
The protesters are seeking changes in the recommendations made by a government-appointed panel for granting PRC to people from other states.
The Joint High-Power Committee (JHPC), after holding parleys with stakeholders, had recommended granting PRC to six communities, who are not natives of the state but have been living in Namsai and Changlang districts for decades.
Protesters had set ablaze 50 vehicles and damaged over 100 vehicles on Friday evening. They also resorted to stone pelting in which 35 people, including 24 police personnel, were injured, police said.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh also appealed to the people of the state to remain calm and maintain peace. He also spoke to Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu. "HM Shri @rajnathsingh spoke to the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Shri @PemaKhanduBJP over the phone and discussed the prevailing situation and ongoing protest in certain parts of the state," the Home Ministry had tweeted on Saturday. "HM has urged the people to remain calm and maintain peace in the state," the tweet added.
The protesters burnt the offices of All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) and All Nyishi Students Union (ANSU), the police said. The AAPSU and ANSU have supported the recommendation of the JHPC constituted by the state government on May 1, 2018 to study the issue.
The proposals have evoked resentment among several community-based groups and students' organisations, who claimed that the rights and the interests of indigenous people will be compromised if the state government accepts them.