Students reiterate demand for exclusion of AR settlers from poll process

Staff Reporter
ITANAGAR, Apr 23: The All Arunachal Pradesh Anti-Corruption Students’ Union (AAPACSU) and the All Yobin Students’ Union (AYSU) reiterated their demand for removal of the ‘illegally extended’ panchayati raj to the retired Assam Rifles (AR) settlers in Vijoynagar circle of Changlang district,and immediate suspension of the Changlang deputy commissioner, the Miao ADC and the CO concerned by 25 April.
Addressing reporters here on Monday, AAPACSUpresident Tana Ganesh Tara informed that there are three anchal samiti members, 17 gram panchayat chairpersons and one anchal chairperson from among the retired AR settlers, “despite there being no laid-down provisions which permit them to contest panchayat elections.”
Tara said that, except in the eastern part of the state, no other district in the state has set such a precedent.
He said the office of the Miao ADC in its reply to arequest for information under the RTI Act also confirmed that there is no record of any government order at the office which permits non-APST and ex-servicemen to participate in panchayat elections, or to enroll their names in the electoral roll.
Despite repeated representations and meetings, the authorities concerned continue to allow the ex-servicemen to participate in panchayat elections and enroll their names in the electoral roll, Tara said.
Informing that retired AR settlers in Vijoynagar circle are actively participating in panchayat elections since 2001, AYSU president Ngwazosa Yobin said, “Amistake made by the state government earlier by allowing them to take part in panchayat elections should not be made into a culture.”
Stating that ignoring such serious matters now could set a wrong precedent for other settlers in the future, Yobin said the families of ex-servicemen are already vying for indigenous status by submitting affidavits of their birth proof.
The AAPACSU and the AYSU also demanded that the state government ensure the completion of the 157 km Miao-Vijoynagar road at the earliest.