ITANAGAR, Sep 19: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) on Tuesday called on the Centre to understand the sentiments of the indigenous people of Arunachal Pradesh on granting of citizenship to Chakma-Hajong refugees.
In a press conference held after the 12-hour state wide bandh to protest against the centre’s clearance on the Supreme Court directives to grant citizenship to Chakma-Hajong refugees, AAPSU President Hawa Bagang stated, ” The centre cannot forcibly impose the Supreme Court directives which is violative in nature and infringement of the indigenous people’ rights”.
The AAPSU President threatened to intensify the agitation and said that the time is not too far when AAPSU would start a non-cooperation movement against the Union Government of India if it fails to protect the rights of its own indigenous people in Arunachal.
Addressing media persons at the Press Club, AAPSU General Secretary Tobom Dai exhorted that the first phase of AAPSU’s 12-hour state wide bandh was to send an emotional message to the centre that the people of Arunachal do not want Chakma-Hajong refugees to be part of Arunachal.
“People of Arunachal Pradesh do not want Chakma-Hajong refugees to be a part of the greater Arunachal society. This sentiment should be understood by the Centre” said Dai.
“If Chakmas and Hajongs want to stay in Arunachal Pradesh, they should continue as refugees. The moment they become citizens, the AAPSU will not allow them to stay in Arunachal,” Dai added.
On being asked why the apex students imposed bandhs instead of finding a logical solution to curb the refugee issue, the AAPSU GS retorted, “A bandh is the last option to ring the central and state leaders who have been practicing the trend of pray and petitions”.
“In fact, we do not encourage bandh culture and rather welcome dialogues, but despite repeated representations to the Government of India, including the Union Home Minister, they have only made assurances time and again”, he rued.
The AAPSU further questioned the state government on why the all-party meeting resolution has not been implemented so far.
The apex students’ organisation further maintained that it would oppose tooth and nail against the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy to implement in toto, claiming that few sections in the policy infringe on the rights of the indigenous people.
Taking a dig at parliamentarians of Arunachal Pradesh, such as Kiren Rijiju, Ninong Ering and Mukut Mithi for their alleged silent and soft stand on granting of citizenship to Chakma-Hajong refugees, the AAPSU questioned their roles as MPs of the state.
Meanwhile, the union expressed deep regret over the reported damages of police buses, private vehicles, ambulances and other public properties during the 12-hour state bandh.
Owning the responsibilities to the untoward incidents occurred across the state, the AAPSU apologetically stated that it would ensure to control their activists next time.
“Due to public outburst, some stray incidents were reported, wherein some innocent people were reportedly injured and public properties were damaged. We as a union sincerely regretted it”, said the AAPSU GS.