Amidst violent protests in Arunachal Pradesh, Union minister Kiren Rijiju on Sunday 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 living in Namsai and Changlang districts. In separate tweets, Rijiju blamed the Congress for "instigating" a section of people. Widespread violence has been reported in the state capital Itanagar and other places, leading to the death of at least two persons, injury to several and destruction of properties and vehicles. The central government has dispatched 1,000 paramilitary personnel to the state to help the administration in maintaining law and order.
What is Permanent Resident Certificate (PRC)?
Permanent Residence Certificate is a legal document that serves as an residential proof and, therefore, must be submitted wherever an evidence is required. Some of the purposes include - admission in educational organisations, job reservation under specific quotas, applying for ration card, availing the provisions of various schemes or claiming scholarships of the state government.
The State Government of Arunachal Pradesh issues the Permanent Residence Certificate (PRC) to the residents of the state who stayed therein over a period. Those citizens who are not currently residing in the state but are sure of permanently staying therein can also apply for it.
What happened so far?
The BJP-led government in the state was considering issuing the certificate to the six non-APSTs communities living in Namsai and Changlang districts and to the Gorkhas living in Vijaynagar. Those communities include Deoris, Sonowal Kacharis, Morans, Adivasis and Mishings. Most of these communities are recognised as Scheduled Tribes in neighbouring Assam.
A Joint High Power Committee (JHPC), after holding discussions with the stakeholders, recommended granting PRC to the six communities, who are not natives of Arunachal Pradesh but have been living in Namsai and Changlang districts for decades.
Why are people in Arunachal protesting against PRC?
There is resentment among several community-based groups and organisations in Arunachal Pradesh, who claimed that the rights and interests of indigenous people will be compromised if the government accepts those communities.
The recommendation of JHPC was supposed to be tabled in the Assembly on Saturday. However, in the wake of agitations by various groups, it was not tabled as the Speaker adjourned the House.
(With inputs from agencies)