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Arunachal Pradesh: 2 killed, 3 injured as protests escalate over granting PRC to 6 communities

The police opened fire at the protesters after they tried to attack the private residence of Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu at ESS sector in Itanagar. 

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
Itanagar Published on: February 25, 2019 9:28 IST
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2 killed as protests escalate in Arunachal Pradesh

Two people were killed while three others were injured in Arunachal Pradesh after the protests over recommendations of granting permanent resident certificates (PRCs) to six communities escalated on Sunday.

The police opened fire at the protesters after they tried to attack the private residence of Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu at ESS sector in Itanagar. 

Two men, aged between 20 and 24 years, were killed in the police firing, news agency PTI reported quoting official sources. Three others were injured in the firing.

The body of another person, who was killed in alleged police firing on Friday night, was kept by the protesters at the Indira Gandhi Park here and they said that it will not be buried until their demands were met.

So far, two persons have lost their lives and four injured as massive protests broke out over the PRC issue in the state.

Pema Khandu had called an all-party meeting on Sunday to take stock of the situation and decide on future course of action, but none of the parties, including the opposition Congress, NPP and PPA turned up.

The Chief Minister's Office sources said that the meeting has been rescheduled on Monday.

"Considering the present situation pertaining to grant of PRCs to non-APST (Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribes) of Namsai and Changlang districts, the state government has

decided that no further action will be taken in grant of PRCs," Chief Secretary Satya Gopal said in a statement issued here.

The agitators have been demanding permanent resolution to the PRC issue, immediate resignation of the chief minister, unconditional release of protesters (numbering around 40) and immediate transfer of the chief secretary, among others.

The Nyishi Elite Society (NES), apex body of the largest community here, has appealed to the people to remain calm and use maximum restraint to evade further escalation of violence.

It also condemned the state government for "late and inept" handling of the bandh call given on February 21 and 22, and "failing to read the pulse and demand of the people".

Earlier in the day, the protesters allegedly set ablaze the private residence of Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and ransacked the office of the deputy commissioner here, police said.

A large number of people marched through the streets vandalising public property and vehicles. They also set on fire a large number of vehicles parked in the compound of the
DC's office.

The agitators attacked the Itanagar Police station and several public properties in the state capital, police said, adding that they allegedly damaged the Sohum shopping mall here and looted the valuables, besides setting ablaze a market complex in Naharlagun.

An indefinite curfew was clamped in Itanagar and Naharlagun on Saturday as protesters resorted to stone pelting in which 35 people, including 24 police personnel, were injured.
The Army had also conducted flag marches in Itanagar and Naharlagun on Saturday.
Internet services remained suspended, while markets, petrol pumps and shops were closed. Most ATMs in the state capital were out of cash, police said.

Over 150 vehicles were damaged by the protesters since Friday, they said.

On Saturday, the agitators damaged the stage of the Itanagar International Film Festival at the Indira Gandhi Park here. The organisers later called off the film festival.

The Joint High Power Committee (JHPC), after holding parleys with the stakeholders, recommended granting PRCs to six communities, who are not natives of Arunachal Pradesh, but has been living in Namsai and Changlang districts for decades.

The proposals evoked resentment among several community-based groups and students' organisations, who claimed that the rights and the interests of indigenous people would be compromised if the state government accepts them.

The recommendation of the JHPC was supposed to be tabled in the Assembly on Saturday, but it did not happen as the speaker adjourned the House sine die.

On Saturday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh appealed to the people of Arunachal Pradesh to remain calm and maintain peace. 

(With PTI inputs)

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