Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu Credit: EastMojo image

Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu on Tuesday announced for a judicial probe into the large-scale rioting, violence and vandalism that took place following the recent anti-Permanent Resident Certificate (PRC) protest, which resulted in the death of three youths, injuries and huge loss of public and private properties.

Speaking during the state BJP council meeting in Itanagar, the chief minister said justice will be served to the bereaved families and people responsible for causing violence in the state capital will be brought before the law.

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.

Further clarifying that the state government had never intended to move a resolution or Bill in the Assembly over PRC, Khandu said that the matter was to be brought in the Assembly only for discussion during the short hour discussion and to make the recommendations of Joint High Power Committee (JHPC) on PRC public.

“After the JHPC recommendations had been made public, the state government had planned to call wider public consultation involving all stakeholders, CBOs, student organisations and other bodies,” the chief minister said while adding that the issue was misinterpreted causing unrest among the students.

Sensing the unrest, Khandu said a statement was issued in social media stating that PRC matter will not be taken up further.

Despite such assurance, large scale rioting and vandalism of government and public properties took place, which meant that the anti social elements had taken control over the protest with political motive, he said.

Gazette notification scraps PRC:

The Arunachal Pradesh government has issued a gazette notification putting the PRC proposal that caused mayhem in the state’s capital last month to rest once and for all.

The notification issued through the chief secretary’s office dated March 4, 2019 read: Whereas, the state cabinet has decided in its meeting held on February 13 and 21 to place the recommendation of the JHPC regarding the PRC issue before the legislative assembly for transparency and detailed meaningful debate and discussion in the interest of the state.

And whereas, the government felt it expedient to review the aforesaid cabinet decisions and accordingly deliberated the issue in the cabinet in its meeting held on February 25 wherein it was decided that no further action shall be taken in respect of matter pertaining to grant of PRC to non-Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe (APST) residents of Namsai and Changlang districts.

The notification added: Therefore, in the public interest, the governor of Arunachal Pradesh is pleased to order that no further action shall be taken in respect of the said issue and the same is closed.

Buckled by pressure from violent protests that rocked the capital from February 21-26 last, the Khandu-led BJP government had on February 22 dropped the issue of granting PRC to six non-APST communities from discussion in the 60-member Assembly.

A conglomerate of 18 student and civil society organisations had imposed a 48-hour shutdown from February 21 to protest against the government’s move of granting PRCs.

Besides taking a violent turn, the shutdown which lasted for five days also witnessed three youths lose their lives during the protests and government and private properties worth crores being vandalised by the agitators.

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