Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu Monday said the controversy over issuing Permanent Residency Certificates (PRC) is closed, requesting protesters ‘not to hold dharna and cooperate with the government’.
Khandu’s statement to news agency ANI comes a day after two people were killed and several others injured in protests outside the CM’s residence over Arunachal government’s proposal to grant permanent residence certificate (PRC) to six non-tribal communities.
“On the night of February 22, I had clarified through media and social media that government won’t hold further discussions over this. Today also, an order has been issued via Chief Secretary that we won’t take up PRC matter,” Khandu was quoted as saying by ANI.
Khandu further said that he had given directives over the need for a detailed investigation and added that a commissioner-level investigating committee was formed to probe into the incidents of violence in the state.
Flouting the curfew imposed on Saturday, the situation turned violent when the agitators set ablaze the private residence of the state’s deputy chief minister and ransacked the office of the deputy commissioner in the capital yesterday. Internet services were suspended in Itanagar and Naharlagun.
Meanwhile, police Saturday told news agency PTI that there was no report of any violence from anywhere in the state even as indefinite curfew imposed in certain parts remained in force. Shops and market establishments in Itanagar and Naharlagun continued to remain closed, as central paramilitary forces sent to help the state government helped maintain law and order in the curfew-imposed areas.
Khandu reached out to those protesting, saying, “I would like to appeal to all those protesting that their demand had already been accepted by govt on 22nd itself. PRC issue is closed. I request them not to hold protests and dharna and cooperate with the government.”
Claiming that Arunachal Pradesh is otherwise a peaceful state, Khandu alleged that the protests were being motivated by someone. He said, “We feel that there is somebody’s hands behind these incidents. Arunachal Pradesh is otherwise a peaceful state.”
Alleging that the violence is staged by Congress to destabilise the BJP government in the state, Arunachal Pradesh BJP president Tapir Gao told The Indian Express, “This violence is definitely politically backed by the Congress. The government has already agreed to not table the recommendations and discuss the matter. It is an attempt to destabilise the BJP government in the state. Goons have been going around Itanagar for the last few days.”
The PRC is a legal document issued to Indian citizens that serve as evidence of residence and is required to be submitted as residential proof for official purpose. The recent incidents of violence are in the wake of the state government’s consideration of issuing the certificate to non-APSTs communities living in Namsai and Changlang districts and to Gorkhas living in Vijaynagar. There is resentment among several community-based groups and organisations in the state, who feel the rights and interests of indigenous people will be compromised if the proposal is implemented.