TKS Council opposes granting of APST status to non-indigenous communities

ITANAGAR, Jul 29: The Tai Khampti Singpho Council (TKSC) said it does not support the demand for granting Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe (APST) status to any non-indigenous community, including the Mising tribe, at the moment.
In a letter addressed to the chief secretary on 26 July, the TKSC pointed out that the issue of granting APST status to the Mising community is a subject of constitutional consideration, and that such a large issue cannot be decided through mere discussions with the Tai Khampti, Singpho or other tribes of Arunachal Pradesh.
“The issue needs a general consensus of all tribes of Arunachal Pradesh for arriving at a logical conclusion,” it said, and questioned the meeting convened by the chief secretary on 27 July through a circular dated 13 July.
It also claimed that the non-indigenous people of Namsai district, including the Misings, have indulged in “many antisocial, anti-government and anti-local activities within the Tai Khampti-Singpho inhabited areas in the recent past.”
Citing certain incidents, the TKSC alleged that the reserved forests, particularly the Khahi Nallah/Tengapani reserved forests, were encroached on without valid authority from either the government or the local indigenous people. It claimed that communal disharmony was incited by organizing road blockades, erratic bandh calls and numerous incidents of incitement in connivance with external elements.
“In many districts of Arunachal Pradesh, including Namsai, numerous non- indigenous communities are residing, and the demand or grant of APST status to a specific tribe is not valid or logical. There is apprehension that such a move will open a floodgate of such illogical demands, which are likely to affect the political and demographical setup of Namsai district in particular and Arunachal Pradesh in general,” the TKSC said in its letter.
It highlighted how Namsai district was particularly inflicted with the Chakma-Hajong, permanent resident certificate, interstate boundary, and influx of illegal migrants issues, and said the issues are yet to be resolved.
“We are already overburdened with all such issues and we cannot think of inviting such issues anymore. Such issues concerning the local indigenous people are always expected to have been discussed at the local and district administration level before putting it to the level of the learned chief secretary, which has not been done in this instant case,” it said.
Citing antisocial developments in recent times, the TKSC had also conveyed its strong resentment and refused the request to support granting of APST status to the Mising community at a joint meeting held in Namsai on 20 July.