ITANAGAR, 26 May: The Yobin Welfare Society (YWS) has strongly condemned the “erroneous, misleading and malignant statements of one Suhas Chakma regarding the Yobin tribe, which appeared in The Arunachal Times on the 24th of this month.”
In a press release, the YWS said that “attempting to charge the Arunachal government of ‘racial profiling’, Chakma used the geographically isolated tribe of Arunachal, the Yobins.”
“Changlang District Research Officer D Yupang stated about the Yobin tribe as: ‘The Yobin is a little known tribe. They are Mongoloid race and Tibeto-Burman of language groups. The Yobins are believed to have originated in eastern Tibet even before present Tibetans arrived in the plateau…’. This is really a long time ago.
“Also, the Gazetteer of India/Tirap Gazetteer has put the Yobin settlements along the Dihing river in the ‘forties of the present century’. However, Suhas Chakma said the Yobins migrated in the 60s,” it said.
“The truth is, the Yobins could not migrate into India because the Yobin tribe has been living from Devan to Vijaynagar much before the existence of political boundaries and even before the independence of our nation. In fact, Yobin tribesmen helped in the demarcation of the international boundaries around from Devan to Chaukan Pass; and this fact was duly appreciated by the government, even with medals.
“And whereas the former chief secretary of the state, T Ringu issued a ‘general information’ regarding the Yobin tribe on 18 January, 1994, educating the ignorant that the remote border-dwelling Yobins are Indian citizens in accordance with
Article 5 of the constitution of India, r/w Section 3 of the Citizenship Act. That is, the Yobins are Indian citizens since the day our constitution took effect.
“The Yobins were never in need of grant of citizenship, for the tribe has always been so. Out of blue, Suhas Chakma appears and raises questions about the tribe’s citizenship and migration history. This cannot be tolerated,” the YWS said.
“However, since Suhas Chakma quickly apologized to the Yobin community and admitted his errors, the society has overlooked his blunder with a warning that he does not repeat such foolish acts in the future,” it said.