Mob Violence: Demand For Resignation Of Pema Khandu As Arunachal CM Escalates

The protesters claimed that the rights and interests of indigenous people will be compromised if the proposal is implemented
The protesters claimed that the rights and interests of indigenous people will be compromised if the proposal is implemented

Guwahati, March 6, 2019

The opposition parties in Arunachal Pradesh have demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Pema Khandu over violence in the state over the permanent residence certificate (PRC) issue. As per reports, three persons died and several sustained injuries in the police firing.

Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee chief Sanjoy said it was decided that a 15-member delegation would meet state governor soon to submit a memorandum. A meeting of opposition parties took place in Itanagar on March 5th, 2019 under the chairmanship of former chief minister Gegong Apang, who recently joined the Janata Dal (Secular).

Sanjay told media persons that the ouster of Khandu will be the focal point and the Arunachal Pradesh governor should dismiss his government. “The governor should institute a commission of inquiry headed by either a sitting high court judge or retired chief justice.  Risso Tari, Viki Ruja and Tsering Wangdi who were killed in firing for PRC should be declared as martyrs,” he said.

It may be mentioned that Khandu on March 5th, 2019 announced a judicial probe into the large scale rioting, violence and vandalism that rocked the state following the PRC protest, which resulted in the death of three youths, injuries and huge loss of public and private properties.

He said the probe will be made by a committee headed by a retired judge to ensure thorough and impartial inquiry so that real picture of the PRC protest could be unearthed and appropriate actions taken against people behind the violence.

Of bloodshed & rights

People in Arunachal Pradesh staged violent protest after the Arunachal Pradesh government announced that it was considering issuing PRC to six non-APSTs and to the Gorkhas.  Amongst those communities are Deoris, Sonowal Kacharis, Morans, Adivasis and Mishings.  Most of these communities are recognised as Scheduled Tribes in neighbouring Assam. The protesters claimed that the rights and interests of indigenous people will be compromised if the proposal is implemented.

In wake of protests, Khandu reiterated that the PRC matter would never be taken up by the state government.

The protesters in Arunachal Pradesh have burnt down the bungalow of Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein in Itanagar.  The protesters also torched and vandalised residences of the district commissioner. A superintendent of a police-rank officer has also been injured.

The protesters claimed that the rights and interests of indigenous people will be compromised if the proposal is implemented
The protesters claimed that the rights and interests of indigenous people will be compromised if the proposal is implemented

A shopping complex owned by Environment and Forest Minister Nabam Rebia was also burnt down. The Sohum shopping mall was also vandalised. The protesters burnt down nearly 50 vehicles and damaged over 100 others on February 22nd, 2019. The car of former Chief Minister Nabam Tuki was among vehicles damaged.

Reduced to ashes

The miscreants attacked the vehicle of the Nagaland-based singer, composer, and songwriter Alobo Naga, the frontman of popular rock band Alobo Naga and The Band. His band to supposed to plat at the first Itanagar International Film Festival (IIFF) at Indira Gandhi Park.

The site of the film festival suffered maximum damage. Photo courtesy: Alobo Naga’s Facebook page
The site of the film festival suffered maximum damage. Photo courtesy: Alobo Naga’s Facebook page

The van along with his guitar, keyboard and other musical instruments were reduced to ashes. The site of the film festival suffered maximum damage. The mob burnt down the convention halls, temporary theatres, stages, food courts, audio and video equipment and five inflatable screens.