ITANAGAR: The Arunachal Pradesh government on Sunday froze its decision on the controversial permanent residence certificate (PRC) that triggered widespread violence for a third day, leading to the torching of the Deputy Chief Minister’s house.
A worried Chief Minister Pema Khandu had convened an all-party meeting on Sunday night to discuss the prevailing situation. “The all-party meet, which was scheduled to be held on Sunday night has been rescheduled for tomorrow (Monday). The Chief Minister will also chair a meeting of all community-based organizations to discuss the PRC,” an official in the Chief Minister’s Office, said.
Sources, however, said the meeting was postponed as other parties refused to take part unless the Governor summons it.
The Arunachal Pradesh government climbed down in the face of the violent protests and declared that it will not implement the report granting PRC to six communities living along the Assam-Arunachal border.
Chief Secretary Satya Gopal said in a statement: “Considering the present situation in respect of the matter pertaining to grant of PRC to non-Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe residents of Namsai and Changlang districts, the government has decided that no further action shall be taken in respect of the grant of PRC.”
The Home Minster added: “The situation is very tense and uncontrollable. The State is taking all steps to calm the situation.”
Earlier on Sunday, mobs protesting against the PRC issue continued their violence spree in Arunachal Pradesh, burning down the house of Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, authorities said.
Security forces resorted to blank firing as the unruly protesters defied curfew and marched towards Chief Minister Pema Khandu’s residence.
It was not clear if anyone was injured in Sunday’s firing.
The protesters also torched and vandalized two police stations in Itanagar and adjoining Naharlagun, while a Superintendent of Police officer was reportedly injured.
Authorities on Saturday imposed an indefinite curfew in Itanagar and Naharlagun as demonstrators protesting against the government’s move to grant PRCs to non-Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe communities went on a rampage, indulging in arson and stone pelting.
One person was killed after sustaining a bullet injury in Naharlagun.
Ford, Nissan, Hyundai, Renault and Mahindra showrooms were vandalized.
Meanwhile, the relatives of Risso Tari, who succumbed to his bullet injuries in police firing on Friday, sought justice for him.
Governor BD Mishra, a retired Brigadier, condemned the violence.
Appealing for peace, Mishra said: “Arunachalis have always demonstrated their rationality, sagacity, and maturity in their conduct under all circumstances.”
Mishra advised the State government to take all precautionary measures to prevent further mayhem.
Four Army columns were deployed in the capital while authorities suspended Internet services across the state to avoid the spread of fake news.
The protests were called on Friday evening by 18 student and civil society groups. Later that day, protesters set ablaze 50 vehicles and damaged over 100 vehicles.
The mobs alleged the committee led by Environment and Forest Minister Nabam Rebia had submitted its report on PRC without proper verification of facts.
The indigenous communities in Arunachal Pradesh believe that they will suffer if the PRC is extended to other communities. (IANS)
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