Judicial probe ordered into Arunachal Pradesh violence
Itanagar, March 6 (PTI): The BJP government in Arunachal Pradesh has announced a judicial probe into the large scale rioting, violence and vandalism during the recent PRC protest that left three people dead.
In his address to the state BJP council meeting here Tuesday, Chief Minister Pema Khandu said justice would be delivered to the bereaved families and the people responsible for unleashing the violence would be brought to book.
The probe would be carried out by a committee headed by a retired judge, a CMO communique said on Wednesday.
Protests had erupted in Itanagar and adjoining Naharlagun in late February over the proposed grant of permanent resident certificates (PRC) to six non-Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe (APSTs) communities living in the Namsai and Changlang districts and to the Gorkhas living in Vijaynagar.
Curfew clamped in Itanagar and Naharlagun town failed to deter protesters from venturing into the streets and pelting stones that left 35 people, including 24 police personnel, injured.
The private residence of Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein was set ablaze and the office of the Itanagar deputy commissioner ransacked.
Clarifying that the state government had never intended to move a resolution or a bill in the Assembly over the PRC, Khandu said the matter was to be taken up for deliberations during a short-duration discussion in the House and to make the recommendations of the Joint High Power Committee (JHPC) on the PRC public.
“The state government had planned to make wider public consultation involving all stakeholders, community-based organisations, student organisations and other bodies,” the chief minister said.
The issue was “misinterpreted”, causing unrest among the students, Khandu said.
A statement was issued on social media platforms that the PRC issue would not be taken up further, he said.
Despite the assurance, mobs rampaged through the streets of the two towns, clashing with security forces, setting ablaze hundreds of buses and damaging public and private property.
Anti-social elements had taken control over the protest with a political motive, Khandu said.
The matter of granting PRC to the six communities of the two districts has been scrapped forever and a gazette notification published in this regard, the chief minister said.