AAPSU serves ultimatum over publication of proposed draft

Offspring issue

ITANAGAR, 3 Sep: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) on Friday served a week’s ultimatum to Social Justice & Empowerment and Tribal Affairs (SJETA) Secretary Niharika Rai to publish the proposed draft on the offspring issue.

Addressing media persons at the press club here, AAPSU president Hawa Bagang said, “It is such a shame that the SJETA took two years for framing a single draft in the matter of the offspring of Arunachal Pradesh scheduled tribe (APST) mothers and non-APST fathers enjoying ST benefits in the state.”

The delay in publishing a basic draft proposal, even after several sittings and verbal pleadings, reflects the non-serious attitude of the department concerned, which shows that unless pressure is built, no work is done by the government officials, he said.

Bagang also said it is heard that an ‘offspring association’ has submitted a letter to the SJETA secretary “for intrusion in framing the draft.”

“Many non-APST offspring who are born and settled in the state might claim themselves as Arunachalees in the coming years, which is a threat to the indigenous people of the state and its culture, language and land,” said Bagang, adding that the AAPSU would take serious action over anything against the state’s interest, “for which the authority concerned will be held responsible.”

When asked about the data on non-APST offspring settled in the state, he claimed that the union has a list of 80 non-APST offspring owning APST certificates and enjoying ST benefits in the state.

He demanded legal punishment for the officers responsible for issuing APST certificates to non-APST children.

“We have served seven days’ ultimatum as she (Rai) had promised to publish the draft within the same time period, and if the authority concerned fails to publish the proposed draft within seven days, the union will go beyond any democratic movements,” Bagang said.