Wait for JHPC report

The issue of granting permanent residence certificate (PRC) to non-APST residing in parts of eastern Arunachal is embroiled in massive controversy. Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Saturday while attending an event at Namsai announced that PRCs would be issued to “genuine non-APST residents” by January next year. This announcement has been met with strong disapproval by several tribal organizations and student unions. Large numbers of non-APST are living in districts like Namsai, Lohit, Changlang etc since time immemorial. Some of them have been living in these areas even before state of Arunachal Pradesh was created by the government of India.
They have been demanding PRC on the ground that they face difficulties while applying for central government job. Their applications are reportedly rejected due to non submission of PRC. On the other hand, indigenous tribal population fears that issuing of PRC to these non APST will open a Pandora box and soon others too including refugees settled in the state will make similar demands. It is a sensitive issue and needs to be resolved by involving all the stakeholders. The plight of non-APST cannot be ignored and similarly the fears of indigenous groups cannot be brushed under the carpet. State government constituted a joint high power committee (JHPC) under the chairmanship of environment and forest minister Nabam Rebia to study the PRC issue. The committee is yet to officially submit the report to the state government. All the parties including state government should wait for the JHPC report. A decision whether to grant PRC should be taken only after JHPC report is accepted by all sides.