Protest against granting permanent residence certificate (PRC) to non-Arunachalees turned violent on Friday in Itanagar resulting in total shutdown of the State capital. Several organizations seeking changes to the PRC created commotion at the venue of the maiden Itanagar International Film Festival.
All the arrangements, including convention halls, temporary theatres, stages, and food courts, audio and video equipment were burnt down overnight by the mob. Bollywood star Satish Kaushik, Producer Rony Lahiri and award-winning filmmaker Utpal Borpujari, Manju Barua and Smaujjal Kashyap were all stuck in a hotel as the unruly mob continued to attack moving vehicles as authorities were struggling to bring order.
More than 100 artists were trapped at the Convention Centre, present for the film festival. Also four trucks were burnt down at the IG Park and stalls and stage for the ongoing Statehood day was being vandalized. Protesters also entered the state civil Secretariat at midnight on 22nd of February.
Protestors also burnt the offices of All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) and All Nyishi Students Union (ANSU) informed police said. The telecom department shut down internet for 24 hours since 22nd February 12 midnight and can be extended unless the violence is not cooled down. The army flag marched in the state capital during the early hours of 23rd February.
With protests escalating and turning violent, police and paramilitary forces in Itanagar had to open fire and use water cannons and tear gas shells. The resulting violence allegedly led to one protester getting killed, while dozens, including both protesters and police personnel, were injured. Approximately 50 policemen were injured, and the protesters resorted to firing as well, according to a police official. Keeping in view the present situation Arunachal government has decided not to take up the PRC matter in the current Assembly session.