The venue of the first Itanagar International Film Festival (IIFF), Dorjee Khandu convention centre was vandalised by unknown miscreants on Friday night.
The protesters clashed with the police on the PRC issue in various parts of the state.
Meanwhile, the Itanagar International Film festival bore the maximum brunt 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 at 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 the 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 drove down to Assam on the way to Guwahati.
Popular Nagaland singer Alobo Naga said that the mob burnt down their car along with all their musical instruments which were at the venue.
Alobo Naga on his Twitter handle on Saturday while thanking all his well-wishers stated: “Thank you all for your prayers and wishes! We are safe. Just avoided mob attack in 2 places to reach Naharlagun train station. Trying to sneak out of Arunachal, continue to pray for us. Situation looks bad, curfew is on!”
Thank you all for your prayers and wishes!
We are safe.
Just avoided mob attack in 2 places to reach Naharlagun train station. Trying to sneak out of Arunachal, continue to pray for us.
Situation looks bad, curfew is on!
— Alobo Naga (@AloboNaga) February 23, 2019
Bollywood star Satish Kaushik, Producer Rony Lahiri and award-winning filmmaker Utpal Borpujari, Manju Barua and Smaujjal Kashyap were all stuck in a hotel as the unruly mob continued to attack moving vehicles as authorities are struggling to bring order.
Uploading an image of the stage of the venue on Saturday, filmmaker Utpal Borpujari stated on his Twitter handle: “This was how the venue of 1st Itanagar Film Festival went up in flames last night during widespread violence in Itanagar that erupted during PRC-related protests.”
1. This was how the venue of 1st @ItaFilmFestival went up in flames last night during widespread violence in #Itanagar that erupted during #PRC-related protests. The festival was called off and all guests were evacuated from hotel today. pic.twitter.com/fi4ovhK2BK
— Utpal Borpujari (@UtpalBorpujari) February 23, 2019
He also stated that he festival was called off and all guests were evacuated from the hotel on Saturday.
Borpujari thanked the festival organisers for keeping all visiting delegates safe and comfortable.
Informing about Friday’s situation, Borpujari in another tweet said: “Internet was blocked last night as violence spread so that rumours cannot spread. Whole night we could see and hear the violence across Itanagar as our hotel was on a hillock overlooking the heart of the city.”
Borpujari further said they safely entered Assam via Gohpur.
He tweeted: “We have safely entered Assam via the Gohpur road. The guests included myself, Satish Kaushik, Ronnie Lahiri, Pradip Kurbah, Sanjib De, lin laishram, Manju Borah, Jadumoni Dutta, Mukul Haloi, Haobam Paban Kumar, Oinam Doren, Biju Toppo and Meghnad.”