AAPSU reiterates stand against citizenship status to refugees

PPA seeks amendment of Statehood Act

ITANAGAR, Feb 14: A day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state, the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has reiterated its stand against the Centre’s purported move for granting of citizenship rights to the Chakma-Hajong refugees and implementation of the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy, 2014 in the state.
The apex student body, while highlighting the exceptional population growth of the Chakmas and Hajongs in comparison to the local indigenous tribes like the Singphos, Khamtis and Tangsas, said that it is a major threat to demographic imbalance.
“The Chakmas and Hajongs in total disregard to the law of the land today have encroached upon the Namdapha National Park, and also have started usurping local indigenous community land. They have started their own underground groups that are engage in heinous crimes like murder, kidnapping and extortion, to name a few of their anti-social activities”, the AAPSU said in a release on Wednesday.
The AAPSU further said that Arunachal Pradesh is regulated and protected by many laws and regulations since the time of British era, such as the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR) 1873, the Chin-Hills Regulation of 1896, Jhum Hills Regulations 1847, Assam Frontier Tract Regulations 1871 and the Assam Frontier (Administration of Justice) Regulation, 1945.
It also reflected on the recent 13th session of the Arunachal Pradesh sixth Legislative Assembly, which had agreed on protecting the territorial and other consequential rights of its tribal population as protected and guaranteed under the Constitution of India and other relevant laws enforced in the state with regard to the granting of citizenship to the Chakmas and Hajongs.
Taking cognizance of the popular aspiration, the AAPSU said that it cannot tolerate any decision of the Centre which would hamper the integrity, dignity and security of the indigenous people of the state.
Further, the AAPSU also sought appointment of regular Director at the North East Regional Institute of Science and Technology (NERIST), Nirjuli and revamping of the dwindling educational atmosphere in the centrally controlled education institute in the state.
Highlighting that the non posting of a regular director at the institute has put a halt on the overall development of the institute, the union hoped that the Prime Minister’s office would pass directions for immediate appointment of a regular director for NERIST.
Also claiming loopholes in the State of Arunachal Pradesh Act, 1986 and Article 371(H) of the Constitution, the AAPSU opined that the article requires a “fresh relook” and called for the provision of constitutional protection to the people of Arunachal Pradesh in the lines of Article 371(A) and 371(G).
It also appealed for inclusion of all tribes with proper nomenclature in the Scheduled Tribe list instead of the current 12 scheduled tribes.
“Names of tribes like Tangsa, Nocte and Wanchoos need to be used instead of clubbing them under ‘Any Naga Tribe'”, it said.
Claiming that the protracted Indo-Naga political dialogue is nearing its final phase and is “shrouded in secrecy”, the AAPSU reiterated its earlier representation to the Government of India that any decision that is detrimental to the territorial integrity of the state would not be accepted in any eventuality.
Also citing examples of the repeated boundary disputes and resulting violence with neighbouring states and countries, the student union sought early solution to the boundary disputes and demarcation of the state.
The AAPSU also decided to place their grievances and demands before the PM through a memorandum.
The People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) has also raised its demand for ownership rights of resources of the state through a parliamentary amendment of the Constitution.
The lacunae which is because of the defective Arunachal Statehood Act, 1986 needs to be corrected, the party said and requested the Prime Minister for amendment of constitution and to ensure the rights of the tribal people over resources at par with the state of Nagaland under Article 371-A.
In its party executive meeting on Wednesday, the PPA also urged the state government and people of the state to raise the demand for grant of constitutional status of the ownership rights of resources.
‘The ruling government in the state, instead of expecting the routine political packages, should demand for the grant of constitutional status of the ownership rights of resources through a parliamentary amendment,’ the party said.
‘One of the biggest problems the state suffers from is the decades-old continuing dependency on the central assistance for everything. It has always been a point of debate that Arunachal in spite of being one of the most resourceful states in the country has remained dependent on the centre all these decades,’ the party said in a release.

PM Modi arriving today

New Delhi, Feb 14: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Arunachal Pradesh and poll-bound Tripura on Thursday, officials said.
In Arunachal Pradesh, he will participate in three programmes, including the inauguration of the Dorjee Khandu state convention centre in Itanagar.
He will also dedicate the state civil secretariat building and lay the foundation stone of the academic block of the Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Science.
From Arunachal Pradesh, Modi will proceed to Tripura where he will address two election rallies in Shanti Bazaar and Agartala. (PTI)