Guwahati: The situation in Arunachal Pradesh over the Permanent Residency Certificate (PRC) row has taken a turn for the worse. One protester died in police firing and several including four security personnel were injured during clash between protesters and security personnel in different parts of the state.

Curfew was imposed in Itanagar on Saturday and the army had also been called in as the mob went on a rampage indulging in arson and stone pelting.  The protest was against the Arunachal Pradesh government’s move to grant Permanent Residency Certificates (PRCs) to non-Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe communities of Namsai and Changlang districts. 

The protesters set ablaze over 60 vehicles and damaged over 100 vehicles in the state. They also burnt five theatres at Itanagar that associated with Bollywood actor-director Satish Kaushik.

Law and order in Itanagar, capital city of Arunachal Pradesh worsened with protesters burning down Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein’s multi-storeyed private residence on Sunday. The Deputy Chief Minister was not present in the house when the incident took place.The protesters also burnt the residence of the district commissioner and vandalised the city’s main police station.

The situation turned violent from Thursday after a conglomeration of 18 student and civil society organisations including the All Papum Pare District Students’ Union, the Arunachal Law Students’ Union, the Nyishi Ethnic Students’ Association and the United Arunachal Indigenous People’s Forum called a state wide bandh opposing the proposal to grant PRCs.

The protesters also burnt the offices of All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) and All Nyishi Students Union (ANSU) as the both student organisations had supported the recommendation of the Joint High-Power Committee (JHPC) constituted by the state government on May 1, 2018 to study to grant PRCs to six communities, who are not natives of Arunachal Pradesh, but have been living in Namsai and Changlang districts for decades.

The administration has suspended internet services in violence-hit Itanagar on Saturday.

Satish Kaushik and 50 other delegates including singers, who were evacuated to Guwahati after the 1st Itanagar International Film Festival was cancelled following the violence.

On Saturday, four army columns conducted a flag march at Itanagar, Naharlagun and Chimpu areas to bring the situation under control, following violence.

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on had announced February 22 night that the PRC issue would not be discussed during the ongoing Assembly session.

A number of communities including Deoris, Sonowal Kacharis, Mishing as most of these communities are recognized as Scheduled Tribe communities in Assam, that are not recognized as Scheduled Tribes (STs) in Arunachal Pradesh have been demanding that they should be provided with PRCs as they have been living in the state for decades.

PRC is a legal document in Arunachal Pradesh that serves as an evidence of residence and thus must be submitted wherever a residence proof is required and it is used for admission in educational organisations, job reservation under specific quotas especially for government jobs etc. to get local preferences, for ration card, to avail the provisions of various schemes of the state or to claim scholarships of the state.