Union opposes autonomy demand

ITANAGAR, Aug 17: The Students United Movement of Arunachal Pradesh (SUMAP) has expressed disapproval of the demand for the creation of a Mon autonomous district council, saying that it would disturb the unity and integrity of the state.

In a press statement, the union said that autonomy is given to those who are socially, politically and economically deprived and backward.

Listing the chronology of the political representation from West Kameng and Tawang districts since the time of the state’s first chief minister PN Thungon, the union said that the people of the two districts are well-represented in the state as well as on the national level politically, and are enjoying the fruits of development on all fronts more than the people belonging to the Tani clan.

It criticized the Mon Autonomous Region Demand Committee (MARDC) for raking up the demand for autonomy at a time when the entire country is passing through difficult times due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The union also questioned the integrity of the chief minister, alleging that “he is indirectly instigating the MARDC to revisit its old, outdated demand, instead of working for abrogation of Article 371 (H).”

The union said it is in favour of participation by representatives of all stakeholders, political parties, regional development committees and CBOs at the proposed consultative meeting on the issue.

Meanwhile, it urged the people of the state to fight for abrogation of Article 371 (H) and for “constitutional amendment or correction of the Statehood Act.”