GUWAHATI: Continuing with violent acts, the protesters in Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar on Sunday set ablaze the private residence of Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and two market complexes and destroyed the office of Itanagar Capital Complex Deputy Commissioner (District Magistrate) and Itanagar Police Station.
They had also made an attempt to target the house of Chief Minister Pema Khandu but the security forces deployed there opened fire in which two protestors were killed and several others injured.
The protestors had earlier demanded the resignation of Khandu and Mein by 5 pm of Sunday opposing the state government’s move to grant permanent residence certificate (PRC) to six non-tribal communities such as Adivasi, Deori, Gorkha, Moran, Mishing and Sonowal-Kachari.
The Gorkhas are settled in Vijaynagar while the other communities live in Changlang and Namsai districts of the state. Most of these communities enjoy Scheduled Tribe status in Assam.
#WATCH Permanent residence certificate row: Violence broke out in Itanagar during protests against state’s decision to grant permanent resident certificates to non-#ArunachalPradesh Scheduled Tribes of Namsai & Chanaglang; Deputy CM Chowna Mein's private house also vandalised. pic.twitter.com/FrcmqWbL8c— ANI (@ANI) February 24, 2019
The violence took place despite the enforcement of Section 144 of the CrPC and the deployment of the Army since Saturday morning.
Internet services have remained suspended since Friday night. Itanagar has been witnessing violent protests for the past three days on the issue of PRC to the non-tribal communities.
On Sunday, the protestors first destroyed the Itanagar Police Station and took away batons, helmets, shields and other equipment.
“It is completely destroyed. There is nothing left. Some 7,000 to 8,000 protestors, including females, are out there on the streets,” the officer-in-charge of the police station told this correspondent refusing to give his name.
After going berserk there, the protestors marched to the private residence of Mein at Niti Vihar and set it ablaze. Next, they made a futile attempt to target the house of the CM.
Mein was moved out of Itanagar and shifted to his native place in Namsai early Sunday morning.
Earlier, the protestors had threatened to bury the body of a person, killed in Friday’s police firing, at Mein’s house.
This is for the second time that his house has been targeted. A few years ago, it had come under attack from protestors following the alleged suicide of former CM Kalikho Pul.
The state’s Environment and Forest Minister Nabam Rebia is the owner of one of the shopping complexes that was set ablaze.
The other is owned by BJP leader Tame Phasang. The office of the district magistrate was vandalised in the wee hours of Sunday.