Itanagar burns, 120 vehicles torched, film festival burnt

Anti outsider protest

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Properties worth 120 crores have been burnt to ashes and more than 100 vehicles have been torched as anti-outsider agitation in Itanagar turned violent since last night forcing the government to roll back the relaxation planned for the Permanent Residence Certificate(PRC).

The angry students moved in groups and damaged everything related to the government since yesterday as the anger was basically on the outsiders trying to make an easy entry into the state.

In the Itanagar city alone more than 120 vehicles were burnt to ashes and another 200 were damaged while entire arrangements for the first Itanagar Film Festival was burnt to ashes.

Only in the Festival arena, all the production, broadcasting and video equipment were burnt. Even three generators laden vehicles also did not escape.

This morning Itanagar looked like a ravaged town as loots, arsons and burning of vehicles continued throughout the night as the administration squirmed before thousands of mobs angry over the government move to relax the PRC.

The police detained around 150 personnel but looking at the intensity of the anger, police has moved cautiously.

The violence erupted in the middle of 48 hours bandh call given by various organisations against the Government move to relax the rules in regard to Permanent Residence Certificate(PRC).

Meanwhile, the Itanagar International Film festival which was supposed to be inaugurated yesterday bore the maximum burnt as all the arrangements, including convention halls, temporary theatres, stages, food courts, audio and video equipment were burnt down overnight by the mob.

At least 100 artists took shelter, many from Assam who went there to perform in the festival took shelter in the Dorjee Khandu convention centre. They stayed the whole night in the Centre fearing for life and with the first light of the day, they escaped to Assam border.

One of them is Aneshwa Mahanta from Guwahati who was also stuck in the convention centre. She saw scores of vehicles burnt down as they drive down to Assam on way to Guwahati.

 

Bollywood Cine-star Satish Kaushik, Producer Rony Lahiri and award-winning filmmaker Utpal Borpujari, Manju Barua and Smaujjal Kashyap all are all stuck in the Hotel as the unruly mob continues to attack moving vehicles as authorities are struggling to bring order.

Meanwhile, Arunachal Government has rolled back the decision to relax the PRC, which is the bone of the contention for this crisis and detained more than 50 mobsters.

 

 

 

Speaking over the phone from Itanagar, filmmaker Utpal Borpujari said that the situation is very bad and the film festival was completely destroyed and now it has to be scrapped.

 

“We are unable to move anywhere outside hotel and internet is also off. We are waiting for the situation to improve and then only we can think of moving out” said Mr Barpujari.

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