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Govt statement on PRCs to non-tribals ‘arbitrary’: AAPSU

“Joint high-power committee examining issue for solution”

GUWAHATI: All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has termed the state government’s statement on permanent resident certificates (PRCs) to six non-APST (Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe) communities in Namsai district as “unilateral and arbitrary”, while maintaining that the joint high-power committee, constituted earlier in the year, was examining the issue for a solution.

Both chief minister Pema Khandu and deputy chief minister Chowna Mein had recently said that the state government was considering granting PRCs to non-tribal people residing in the Lekang area of the district for decades.

“The statements by the state government are unilateral and arbitrary, when the decision should have been left to the wisdom of the joint high-power committee, of which the AAPSU is also a part. We’re looking into pros and cons of the issue for an amicable solution,” AAPSU general secretary, Tobom Dai told The Shillong Times on Monday.

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The PRC has become a major issue in Arunachal Pradesh of late, with all community-based organisations opposing it and compelling the government to constitute the joint high-powered committee headed by a state minister.

The committee has been examining the issue for preparing a report to be submitted shortly.

“Such statements on sensitive state subjects without collective opinions of all the stakeholders should not have been made in haste as it is greatly in contradiction to the authority of the joint high-power committee,” the students’ union said in a statement.

The union urged the state government and its representatives to “exercise utmost caution and refrain from politicking” until the finalisation and publication of the report by the committee, and condemned “the political leaders who make this issue a political one for election politics.”

AAPSU had placed its opinions and taken the views of all stakeholders of the districts and the claims of the non-APSTs in two previous meetings of the committee.

“Any issue of PRC should be done only after proper demarcation of land and legislation in the state Assembly,” the union said.

PRCs have been a long-pending demand of non-tribal communities residing in the Lekang circle of Namsai district.

The Arunachal Pradesh Abotani Community Confederation, a leading community-based organisation had also lambasted the state government for the “hasty announcement” without considering the report.

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