Saturday, Jan 29, 2022
Outlook.com

Fire Rises In The East

Arunachal joins the list of Northeast states singed by BJP

Fire Rises In The East
Mob Fury -

For days, Itanagar burned as mobs went on the rampage in the capital of Arunachal Pradesh last week against the state government’s ­decision to grant permanent resident status to six non-tribal communities. Those who suffered included musicians and artistes gathered for a film festival, which was called off. The worst was, however, yet to come as mobs thronged the streets with greater fury ­after hours of relative calm. This time, the target was deputy chief minister Chowna Mein’s residence, which was set on fire. Then there was mass looting from a well-known department store. At least three people were killed in police firing to control the rampaging protesters. When the fire was fina­lly doused, the state was left with its image in tatters and the ego of the government badly bruised. Chief minister Pema Khandu was forced to issue a statement saying that his government will not pursue the issue “ever again”.

The permanent resident certificate (PRC) is an official document which helps the holder to seek government jobs or admission in education institutes. The six communities, concentrated in Arunachal Pradesh’s Changlang and Namsai districts, have been seeking residency certificate for decades. But the state’s residents fear that such a move could rob the original inhabitants of rare job opportunities—another layer in Northeast’s age-old “local versus outsider” divide. But beyond the obvious, there is another story to the violence in Arunachal Pradesh, one that encompasses the entire region.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement