ITANAGAR, May 24: Former minister Bida Taku on Thursday appealed to the state government to issue permanent resident certificates (PRC) and Scheduled Tribe certificates to the Deoris, Mishings, Sonowal Kacharis and other settlers who have been residing in Lekang assembly constituency in Namsai district for over six decades.
His appeal came after the local residents of Lekang blocked National Highway-52 near the Dirak check gate for nearly six hours on Tuesday, following an inner line permit (ILP) check in Adinigroo in Piyong circle. Reportedly, seven local residents of Lekang were asked for their ILPs by security forces on Monday. The seven were asked to pay a penalty of Rs 100 despite showing proof of their residency in Lekang and other identification cards.
Addressing media persons at the press club here, Taku said the residents of Lekang assembly constituency, comprising Deoris, Mishings, Sonowal Kacharis and others, have long been denied their rights.
“They are denied job opportunities and required to show ILPs whenever sought, despite being residents of the area,” Taku said.
Citing documents acquired through the RTI Act, Taku informed that a lot of official documents dating before the independence era proved that the Deoris, Mishings, and Sonowals were already settled in the area.
“A Gazetteer of India (census) of Lohit district in 1978 shows Deoris and Mishings as ST in the list (Sl No 21 and 61, respectively). Also, the Arunachal Pradesh Gazette Extraordinary published by the authority on 17 July, 1989, shows Deoris, Mishings and Sonowal Kacharis as ST population of 48 Lekang ST assembly constituency,” Taku said, adding that their genuine issues were seldom raised by community-based organization or even their elected representatives in the state assembly.
The former minister also questioned the 29 September 2010 decision of the state cabinet to revoke the earlier order of granting of PRC to non-APST people and their families who settled in Lohit and Changlang districts prior to 1968 and whose proper records are available with the administration.
“PRC was approved and issued on 17.5.2010 against the said non-APST settlers during a cabinet meeting, and on 30.1.2017 a joint high power committee on PRC, chaired by former MP Takam Sanjoy, submitted a report for considering issuing PRC to the genuine indigenous people of Lekang circle by maintaining codal formalities, but the decision was later revoked,” Taku said.