Tension persisted in the Namsai subdivision of Lohit district in Arunachal Pradesh following clashes between tribals and non-tribals over demand for permanent residential certificates by the non-tribals.
Trouble broke out when a procession organised by the Lohit Changlang Development Forum — which represents people from the Deori, Ahom, Moran, Nepali, Lishu, Adivasi, Mising, Sonowal-Kachari and the Koiborta communities — marched towards the subdivisional headquarters town of Namsai from Dirak Gate in Mahadevpur at 9am demanding permanent residential status.
The rallyists to proceed up to a certain distance but they, numbering around 20,000, crossed the mark. Then the rallyists were provoked by a group of around 20 armed indigenous people who threatened them to leave. The trouble started and the situation turned worse. Some indigenous poeple also attacked the residence of minister Chowna Mein at Namsai and ransacked it.The nine communities residing in Arunachal Pradesh for several decades had been demanding permanent resident certificates for various reasons.
The State government has passed an order on June 24 this year for issuing Permanent Resident Certificates (PRC) to non-indigenous communities who had settled in the State prior to 1968. The government decision sparked off severe protests from the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union and Tai Khampti Students’ Union, forcing revocation of the decision.
The Lohit Changlang Development Forum had been campaigning on behalf of the nine communities against the government’s decision.and today’s procession was taken out to press for the demand of issuing permanent residential certificates
Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad is agitating demanding permanent residential certificates for the non-tribals of the two districts of Lohit and Changlang. This demand has been strongly opposed by the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union and Tai Khampti Students’ Union.
Additional central forces had been deployed in vulnerable locations. Arunachal Pradesh Police Battalion and India Reserve Battalion jawans, too, are keeping a strict vigil on the situation.
The army had been conducting area domination operations in villages and interior parts of the district at the request of the Lohit district administration to ensure that there was no more trouble. The administration has also issued prohibitory orders in Namsai and Mahadevpur police station areas under Section 144 CrPC and has banned assembly of four or more persons at a place and carrying of any sort of arms or ammunition.
Huts of non-tribals being burnt in some interior areas in Piyong circle of Namsai. Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu on Monday ordered airlifting of forces from Itanagar to Namsai sub-division in Lohit district to contain clashes