Tension continues to simmer in Arunachal Pradesh's Itanagar and its adjoining areas in the wake of a man's death in clashes that broke out between police and agitating members of the tribal community on Friday.
Violence had erupted during a 48-hour shutdown declared by student and civil society bodies to protest against the Pema Khandu government's decision to table a Joint High Power Committee (JHPC) report on giving permanent residential certificates to non-native scheduled tribe communities of Namsai and Changlang district in the state assembly.
Police resorted to firing in order to quell the protests against the move, with agitators pelting stones at government vehicles and offices. A man who tried to enter the civil secretariat here was killed in the police action, and another suffered a bullet injury in his leg. Several security personnel and agitators were also injured in clashes that broke out in Naharlagun.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi condoled the man's death in a late-night tweet. "I'm sorry to hear about the death of an innocent youth in police firing, in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh, in which many others have also been injured. My condolences to the family of the young man. I pray that the injured make a speedy recovery & that peace returns to Arunachal," he posted.
Public gatherings have been restricted in the region to prevent further violence, and the government has decided against tabling the report for now in view of the volatile situation. The government has also suspended Internet services in the region for the next 24 hours with immediate effect to prevent the spread of rumours on social media platforms. The Army has been called in to conduct a flag march.
Eighteen student bodies and civil society groups had organised the shutdown to mount pressure on the state government to scrap the decision of granting permanent residential certificates to non-Arunachal scheduled tribe communities of Namsai and Changlang districts. The agitating groups allege that the JHPC -- headed by Environment and Forest Minister Nabam Rebia -- has submitted its report without verifying the facts properly, and it should be rectified before being tabled in the assembly.