ITANAGAR, Feb 24: The law and order situation in the capital complex worsened further on Sunday with two more confirmed deaths in police firing.
The victims have been identified as Biki Ruja (20), a 4th semester student of DN Government College here, and Tsering Wangdi (34). While Ruja hailed from Chambang in Kra Daadi district, Wangdi was from West Kameng district.
Twenty-two-year old Risso Tari, a native of Laying village in Kurung Kumey district, had earlier died in police firing on Friday night.
Sunday’s firing incident took place near the circuit house here when a large number of people were marching towards the chief minister’s private residence to protest against the joint high power committee’s (JHPC) recommendations to grant permanent resident certificates (PRC) to six non-APST communities residing in Namsai and Changlang districts.
Seven persons were also injured in the firing.
One Babu Das (22), hailing from Kamrup in Assam, who suffered bullet injuries in Naharlagun on Friday, has been admitted in Guwahati Medical College and Hospital. He received the injuries while taking part in the protests with his APST friends against JHPC recommendations.
DCM’s residence torched, PS attacked
On Sunday morning, protestors set ablaze Deputy CM Chowna Mein’s private residence in Niti Vihar here.
They also attacked the Itanagar police station (PS), the women’s police station and the fire station, and vandalized the Itanagar gompa and the old BJP office in Vivek Vihar.
Earlier in the morning, the protestors took out a candlelight march from the IG Park tennis court to Bank Tinali to pay homage to Tari.
On Saturday, the agitators had damaged the stage of the Itanagar International Film Festival, as well as the DK convention centre at IG Park, at around 8:30 pm. The organisers later called off the film festival.
The protestors also ransacked the office of the capital complex deputy commissioner and set on fire a large number of vehicles parked in the office compound.
On Sunday morning, police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd in Naharlagun. However, as the minutes passed, the crowd grew stronger in number, forcing the police to retreat.
The agitators also blocked the road leading to the Naharlagun railway station. As a result, many passengers, including patients, were held up at the station since Sunday morning.
Army conducts flag marches
The army conducted flag marches in Itanagar and Naharlagun on Saturday. All the markets, petrol depots and shops were closed, and most of the ATMs in the state capital were out of cash, police said.
Over 60 vehicles, including many police vehicles, were set ablaze, and over 150 vehicles were damaged by the protesters since Friday, police said.
The JHPC recommendation evoked massive resentment among the people, several community-based groups and student organizations, who claimed that the rights and the interests of indigenous people would be compromised if the state government accepted the recommendation. (With inputs from PTI)
Mobs loot shops
A mob broke into three shops in Takar Complex in Naharlagun and set them on fire on Sunday. By the time fire tenders arrived at the spot, most of the items in the shops were completely gutted.
Sohum shopping complex and a showroom in A Sector were also ransacked by a mob. Some members of the mob were seen taking away items from shops in both Takar Complex and Sohum.
Another mob attempted to break into an arms shop near Akashdeep complex, but failed because of police intervention. In Lekhi village, a car showroom was vandalized and the security room of Iconic Automobiles was burned. At the time of writing, there were reports that Arunachal Law College in Lekhi was also under siege.