Protestors allegedly burned down the home of Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein in Itanagar on Sunday, during demonstrations against the state’s move to provide permanent resident certificates to six tribal communities. The protestors also ransacked the office of Itanagar Deputy Commissioner of Police Prince Dhawan, PTI reported.
The six tribes are Deoris, Sonowal Kacharis, Morans, Adivasis, Mishings and Gorkhas. The All Moran Students’ Union had observed an “economic blockade” of the state in January to demand that the tribes be provided permanent resident certificates.
Mobs demonstrating against the granting of the certificates attacked a police station and several public properties in the state capital on Sunday, authorities said. They blocked the road leading to the Naharlagun railway station, leading to passengers being stranded since Sunday morning. A mob also advanced towards Chief Minister Pema Khandu’s residence, The Hindu reported.
The Centre has deployed 10 companies of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police in Itanagar to restore law and order, PTI reported. One company comprises 100 personnel.
Khandu had on February 22 assured people of the state that the matter of permanent resident certificates will not be discussed during the Assembly session that ended on Saturday. However, irate mobs vented their anger after a man who had allegedly sustained bullet injuries on Friday died in a Guwahati hospital. Another man from Kimin area in Papum Pare district died on Friday night in firing after a mob stormed the state secretariat in Imphal.
On Saturday, mobs pelted stones in Itanagar and Naharlagun leading to injuries to 35 people, including 24 police personnel. The administration clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code. This section prohibits the assembly of more than four people.
The Army also conducted flag marches in Itanagar and Naharlagun on Saturday. Internet services were suspended, and markets, petrol pumps and shops were closed. Most ATMs in Itanagar were out of cash. The police said demonstrators had set over 60 vehicles on fire and damaged 150 other vehicles since Friday.
Protestors also burnt five theatres named Picture Time, with which film director Satish Kaushik is associated, IANS reported. “I got a call this [Saturday] morning from the owner, Sushil Choudhary, that our five theatres were burnt,” Kaushik told the agency. He made the remark while on his way to Guwahati in Assam, after the first Itanagar International Film Festival was cancelled due to the demonstrations.
Rahul Gandhi offers condolences to youth’s family
Congress President Rahul Gandhi offered his condolences to the family of one of the youths killed in firing. “I’m sorry to hear about the death of an innocent youth in police firing, in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh, in which many others have also been injured,” he tweeted. “My condolences to the family of the young man. I pray that the injured make a speedy recovery and that peace returns to Arunachal.”