Resident certificate issue hotting up in Arunachal
The issue of providing a permanent resident certificate (PRC) to six communities that do not enjoy Scheduled Tribe status is hotting up in poll-bound Arunachal Pradesh.At least 18 student and civil society organisations in the State have come together for a 48-hour shutdown from Thursday to protest against the Bharatiya Janata Party government’s alleged move to grant PRC to the six communities classified as non-Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe or non-APST.These six communities – Adivasi, Deori, Gorkha, Mishing, Moran, and Sonowal Kachari – inhabit Namsai and Changlang districts of the State. Some of these communities are ST in Assam.Appeal to CMOn Tuesday, these organisations had asked Chief Minister Pema Khandu to withdraw the government’s move to grant the PRC that they said would go a long way in robbing the rights of the indigenous communities of the State.During a public rally at Vijaynagar in Changlang district on December 14 last year, Mr Khandu had said that his government was looking into the possibility of granting PRC to the non-APST groups. At the same time, he said the interest of the indigenous communities would not be compromised with.In another public rally, Deputy Prime Minister Chowna Mein had also said the PRC would be the government’s New Year gift for the six communities. The government later clarified that there was no such move but local NGOs have not been convinced, particularly after a joint high-power committee submitted a report on the issue a few days ago.Motive doubtful “The recommendations in the report, whose motive is doubtful, need to be scrapped,” the NGOs said in a joint statement. These organisations include the Arunachal Law Students’ Union, All Papum Pare District Students’ Union, All Nyishi Students Union, United Arunachal Indigenous People’s Forum, All Tagin Students’ Union, and Arunachal Anti-Corruption Union.