Org welcomes cabinet decision

ITANAGAR, Aug 27: The Arunachal Pradesh Abotani Community Confederation (APACC) has welcomed the state cabinet’s decision to move a resolution for inclusion of the state under the 6th schedule of the constitution and to seek amendment to Article 371 (H) to protect the rights of the state’s indigenous population.

“Inclusion of Arunachal Pradesh under the 6th schedule and amendment of Article 371 (H) at par with Article 371 (A) was long overdue. We appreciate the present state government for taking up the issue, which had been neglected by all the previous governments. If these amendments are made, it will be the biggest achievement for the state,” APACC chairman Taba Taku said in a press briefing at the Arunachal Press Club here on Thursday.

“Due to the historic blunder of bringing the state under Article 371 (H), Arunachal was in a state of suspended animation. Once these amendments are brought in, our endangered tribal customs and culture will get full protection,” he said.

The 6th schedule deals with provisions for administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. It seeks to safeguard the rights of the tribal populations through the formation of autonomous district councils.

Arunachal, bordering Bhutan, China and Myanmar comes under the 5th schedule, which deals with provisions related to the administration and control of scheduled areas and scheduled tribes.

Taku also urged the state government to take up the issue of strengthening the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR) Act, 1873, terming it an “outdated” law.

The act prohibits all citizens of India from entering Arunachal without a valid inner line permit.

The APACC chairman also called for implementation of the disproportionate asset bill under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, and further strengthening of the lokayukta in the state.