Non-APSTs in 2 dists deserve PRCs: Rebia

ITANAGAR, Feb 21: Joint high power committee (JHPC) chairman and cabinet minister Nabam Rebia told reporters that the non-APSTs in Changlang and Namsai district deserve permanent resident certificates (PRC).
Speaking to reporters here after the first day of the legislative assembly on Thursday, Rebia said the organisations that have called the bandh in the capital should “go to the concerned districts and interact with the people. Try to know the facts, know the history, and then go to the public. They have to first know the facts before they comment on this.”
Stating that it was not his lone decision but the consensus of the JHPC, Rebia said, “The people and the organisations (bandh callers) are grossly misled about the issue.”
A PRC, he explained, “does not confer one the status of an APST. It’s simply to avail jobs in central government services. They will not be entitled to avail the status of APSTs. They cannot purchase land from bonafide local people here.”
Rebia also said the non-APSTs living in Namsai and Changlang districts for centuries could not be denied basic human rights as they are citizens of India.
“Those who don’t understand this are unnecessarily raising issue. Can we evict those who have been living there for the last so many centuries? We are simply giving them recognition that you are eligible to settle and live there, and for their children to be eligible to get government jobs outside the state,” he said.
The minister also clarified that getting government jobs does not imply that they would be eligible for jobs reserved for the locals.
“Earlier, they were totally deprived of this and could not apply for jobs in the central government due to lack of PRCs. This amounts to curtailing of the democratic rights of the citizens. We are just trying to help them, and the organisations have come up without knowing the facts,” he said.
Rebia also asked why the bandh callers did not raise objection when most of them were members of the committee, and also why they were raising objection to the recommendations now and did not do so when the same had been recommended by the earlier two committees.
“They had supported it and said they (the non-APSTs) deserved it because two of the earlier committees also recommended the same,” he said.
Rebia said the report has been submitted to the government and now it is up on the house to decide whether the recommendations and demands are genuine or not.