Theravada Buddhists celebrate
ITANAGAR, Sep 29: The Theravada Buddhist across the state celebrated Sitang Chale
popularly known as Madhu Purnima or Honey Offering Festival with great pomp and gaiety
The Honey Offering Festival is a Theravada Buddhist religious ceremony that commemorates
the service and sustenance provided by animals to the Buddha during his 10th rains
retreat at Parileyya Forest.
According to legend, during his retreat, a monkey brought a honeycomb for the Buddha
to eat, while an elephant brought fruit and protected the Buddha from wild animals.
When the Buddha accepted the gift of the honeycomb, the monkey, overjoyed, began
to leap from tree to tree, but suffered a deadly fall in his reckless jubilation.
Because of his generous gift, however, the monkey was immediately reborn in the Heaven
of the Thirty-Three (Pali: Tavatimsa), the second of the six heavens in the Desire
Realm. Since these events are believed to have taken place on the day of the full
moon, the occasion has come to be commemorated as Madhu Purnima, or “honey full moon.”
The festival is observed on the full moon of the 10th lunar month, mostly by Theravada
Buddhists of Namsai and Changlang districts.
The Theravada Buddhist residing in Capital Complex observed the day with full devotion
and enthusiasm. The lay practitioners pledged to observe the five precepts—to refrain
from taking life, stealing, sexual activity, lying, and intoxicants—and many also
vowed to observe the eight precepts during the ceremony.
The ceremony was also marked by a long period of chanting, paying homage to the Buddha,
the Dhamma, and the Sangha, followed by offerings of food, flowers, incense, lamps
and listening to the Dhamma talk from Scholar Kesang Aryadhamma. The lay devotees
also shared the accumulated merit with friends, relatives, and all sentient beings.
CLP endorses all-party decision
ITANAGAR, Sept 29: The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in its meeting held under
the Chairmanship of Chief Minister and CLP leader Nabam Tuki today unanimously endorsed
the decisions taken by the All Party meeting held on Sept 28 with regard to filing
of a review petition in the wake of the Supreme Court judgment of September 17 for
granting of citizenship to Chakmas and Hajongs and their permanent settlement in
DC issues prohibitory order
ITANAGAR, Sept 29: In view of damages caused by the domestic animals/cattle and to
prevent unhealthy and unhygienic atmosphere, the Lohit Deputy Commissioner-cum-District
Magistrate has issued an executive order prohibiting free loitering of domestic animals
like pigs, cows, goats and such other domestic animals within Tezu township areas.
The order further directed all the owners to keep their domestic animals within fenced
areas etc. with immediate effect, failing which such animals shall be captured and
disposed off through public auctions by the District Administration. (DIPRO)
Seminar on drugs abuse
ITANAGAR, Sept 29: The department of sociology, Don Bosco College, Jollang conducted
its annual department seminar on the topic “Drug abuse among the students of Arunachal
The resource person for the seminar was Patey Tayum, Chairman of Arunachal Civil
Society (NGO). He emphasised on the role of family and individual on curbing the
drug menace from society.
Principal of the college Dr. Fr. R.K. Nicholas Guangdiat suggested that drug abuse
can be fought and overcome only if we work together as a unit and abstain and prevent
oneself from the habit. A small video titled “culture of death” was shown to highlight
on how popular culture is slowly overshadowing the values and morals that society
has instilled upon each and every one of us.
The seminar discussed the situation of drug abuse in Arunachal Pradesh, the factors
which lead the youngsters towards drug abuse and the impact of drug abuse on academic
Maintain Bahadur Hill Reserve Forest: Society
ITANAGAR, Sept 29: The land owners of 160 ha Bahadur Hill Reserve Forest in West
Sinag district under the banner of Bahadur Hill Development Society has asked for
maintaining the forest reserve area and reacquiring the land occupied by the public
within its jurisdiction.
In its memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister, expressing resentment over the
occupying of land within the reserve forest by various individuals, it said that
if the government is unable to maintain the reserve forest area, the land may be
returned back to them.
If the government fails to act to our demand, then the cost of the land be compensated
to us, it further added.
Anti Corruption Sena to make spot verification of State, CSS works
ITANAGAR, Sep 29: Papum Pare district unit of Anti-Corruption Sena has stated of
conducting spot verification/inspection of all the completed as well as on-going
State and Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSSs) under various departments in Papum Pare
The district unit of Anti-Corruption Sena has sought cooperation from all the officials,
contractors and general public during the team’s inspection and verification for
better implementation of the schemes.
The state unit of Anti-Corruption Sena in an order has directed its district and
block units to make spot verification and vigilance of all the completed and ongoing
central and state sponsored schemes in various departments in Arunachal Pradesh and
submit the findings in October.
DWU distributes items to workers
ITANAGAR, Sept 29: Under the Labour Welfare Scheme of the Arunachal Pradesh Building
& Other Construction Worker’s Welfare Board (APBOCWWB) various items like gumboot,
helmet and mosquito nets were today distributed to the working class in the office
of the District Worker’s Union (DWU) at Roing.
Altogether 150 workers were distributed with the package by District Labour & Employment
Officer, District Art & Culture Officer and District Information & Public Relation
Ita Mimi president district Workers Union while highlighting about various labour
welfare schemes exhorted the workers to register their names in the APBOCWWB. (DIPRO)
Veterinary team visits flood affected Mer and Gadum
PASIGHAT, Sept 29: A team of veterinary doctors led by the District Animal Husbandry
and Veterinary Officer Dr. Jikom Panor today visited flood ravaged Gadum and Mer
villages under Mebo Sub-division to ascertain the cause of reported outbreak of cattle
The team also conducted animal health camp at both the villages. While surveying
the grazing area, the team found plenty of toxic plants, known as Lantana camara.
Preliminary investigation revealed that animal died of lantana poisoning. However,
Lantana samples were collected and are being sent to laboratory for diagnosis, informed
the DVO. DIPRO
Donation for flood victims
ITANAGAR, Sept 29: Expressing concern over the miserable condition of the people
of flood ravaged Anpum and Loklung villages under Lower Dibang Valley district, Minu
Lowang, a social activist along with prominent singer Jeli Kayi donated an amount
of Rs 50,000 to Adi Bane Kebang for the flood victims. The amount was collected
by conducting a charity show at Naharlagun on Sept 26.
Meanwhile, Rajiv Gandhi Students’ Union along with students of the newly-introduced
Masters in Social Work department also collected an amount of Rs. Rs. 44,834 and
handed over the amount along with relief materials to ABK for flood victims.
GWS, TCS appeal for peace
ITANAGAR, Sept 29: A joint meeting was held among the senior members of Galo Welfare
Society and Tagin Cuitural Society yesterday to discuss the issue related to recent
Aalo rape incident.
The members of both the community appealed both the families to maintain peace and
tranquility to avoid any communal tension.
The members of both the apex body further resolved to stop escalation of further
communal tension and assured to do a fact finding mission shortly to resolve the
APMCC holds protest rally
ITANAGAR, Sept 29: The Arunachal Pradesh Mahila Congress Committee (APMCC) organised
a rally here today protesting against replacing of the Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi’s
picture from the postal stamps.
Calling it an insult to the history of India and demanding apology from the Centre,
the committee said, we should not forget about the 1971 Pakistan war led by Indira
Gandhi, which saw the creation of Bangladesh and revolutionary development of Information
Technology initiated by Rajiv Gandhi that has benefitted everyone.
APMCC called for continuing with the postal stamps with the pictures of the former
Awareness prog. on drug abuse, early marriage
SEPPA, Sept 29: Over 700 students from various schools of Seppa attended a day-long
awareness programme on drug abuse and early marriage organised by the All East Kameng
Students Union (AEKSU) at St. Joseph Secondary School here today.
DDSE Kata Rangmo dwelt at length on the demerits of early marriage and advised against
early marriage while, Dr. SK Suman explained about the ill-effects of drug abuse.
AEKSU vice president, Kalai Sangdo, who was also present on the occasion, appealed
the students to not take drugs and alcohol and concentrate on their studies. (DIPRO)
Orgs call for constitution of Lokayukta
ITANAGAR, Sept 29: The Adi Students’ Union (AdiSU) and Adi Bane Kebang Youth Wing
(ABKYW) has called for constituting Lokayukta in the state.
In its memorandum submitted to the Governor, it said that the Lokayukta is yet to
be constituted after its bill was introduced in the assembly in March last year.
Corruption prevails openly in our state and stands at the most highest position according
to National Corruption Chart, it claimed. Poor people of the state find it difficult
to move the Gauhati High Court for filing PIL against corrupted officers, MLAs etc.
as huge monetary involvement is involved. The only device to fight against corruption
in the state for a poor citizen is Lokayukta, for which our constitution has empowered
the Governor with the right, the memo read.
Non implementation of the bill shall not be viewed as mere act of the state government,
and the union shall move for legal proceeding, they warned.
DC urged to help fire victim
ITANAGAR, Sept 29: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) State Secretary Vijay Sonam has appealed
to the East Kameng Deputy Commissioner to provide immediate relief to one Tani Rawa
of Rawa village, whose dwelling house was gutted in a fire on Sept 24.
Sonam, in a letter to the DC further urged for providing building materials to the
poor victim for his quick rehabilitation.
IAF recruitment drive ends
ITANAGAR, Sept 29: The Airmen Recruitment Rally conducted by the Indian Air Force
at Dera Natung College witnessed as many as108 candidates appearing in Group Y (non-
technical) and 28 candidates appearing in Group X (technical). Out of the appeared
candidates, 20 got selected in Group Y and two got selected in Group X. Those selected
would undergo final medical test at Tezpur. (DIPRO)
DC asked to issue order
ITANAGAR, Sept 29: Claiming that various rampant illegal structures are being constructed
within government allotted quarter complexes in Pasighat, the Bogong Banggo Yameng
Kebang (BBYK) has urged the East Siang DC to issue an order asking such people to
vacate the quarters.
Because of the rampant encroachment within the township, maintaining RoW has become
a problem, stated a letter to the DC.
ATI training on pay fixation
ITANAGAR, Sept 29: A three day training on “Pay Fixation” in two batches, one for
ministerial staff of Capital Complex and other for District Administration ministerial
staff commenced at Administrative Training Institute (ATI), Naharlagun today.
All together 66 trainees- 33 each from Capital Complex and districts are attending
the programme sponsored by DoPT, GoI.
Taniyang Tatung (FAO), Directorate of Audit & Pension and Somnath Hore (Overseer),
Directorate of Printing and Stationery are the main resource persons for the training.
ATI Director Pate Marik, Deputy Director (Training) Priscilla Tayeng attended the
inaugural function and advised the participants to be punctual and disciplined during
the training for successful conduct of the training programme.
Voluntary blood donation camp
ITANAGAR, Sept 29: A blood donation camp will be held at Blood Bank of Arunachal
State Hospital, Naharlagun on October 1 as part of National Voluntary Blood Donation
The camp is being organised under the aegis of Arunachal Pradesh State AIDS Control
Society (APSACS) Naharlagun with theme “Save Humanity, Save Precious Life - Donate
CCSC thrash ASC, enter final in Abotani Cup
ITANAGAR, Sep 29: Capital Complex Sporting Club (CCSC) stormed into the final of
the state level 4th Abotani Cup Football Tournament thrashing Arunachal Sporting
Club (ASC) in the first semifinal at RG Stadium, Naharlagun today.
Biri Pada (22nd min), Tadar Kojum (30th, 58th mins), Gyamar Kuku (49th min) and Nguri
Abin (76th, 78th mins) were the scorers for CCSC.
For ASC, Rigio Topu (86 min) and Nguri Kampo (88 min) scored one goal each.
CCSC will play against the winner of tomorrow's second semifinal between Todo United
FC-B and Arunachal Pradesh Police in the final on Oct 2.
Deomali, Hunkan FC win in T Wangchadong Memorial Football
ITANAGAR, Sep 29: Deomali FC defeated Lanwang Khatang FC 3-1 in a match of the first
Thansen Wangchadong Memorial Football Tournament at Nehru Stadium, Khonsa today.
Samroi Moidam scored two goals and Sonu Thiknok one for the winning team while the
consolation goal for defeated team was scored by A Sonhway Sawin.
In another match of the day, Hunkan FC beat Thinsa Soccer Club 4-3 through penalty
Khonsa Village FC will play against Longo FC tomorrow at 1 pm and Lapnam Youth Assocaition
will take on Borduria Youth Association at 3 pm.
Raj Bhawan unhappy with “upsetting
and dispiriting” media report
SC verdict on Chakma - Hajong and AAPSU rally
ITANAGAR, Sept 29: Reacting to news item published on Tuesday’s edition relating
to SC verdict on grant of citizenship to Chakma and Hajong refugees in the state
and subsequent (All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) rally in Capital, where
the student leaders had expressed displeasure at the Raj Bhawan for not allowing
them to meet the Governor, officials said that such misleading report is very upsetting
“Raj Bhawan is well aware of the issues through media reports and the copy of the
judgement given by the Government of Arunachal Pradesh, and has already asked the
State Government to furnish a detailed report on the issue” read an official release.
It expressed its displeasure for “putting the institution of Governor of the State
of Arunachal Pradesh in poor light” before the people, in spite of the Governor’s
utmost concern for the progress and development and wellbeing of the State.
“In spite of prior engagements, the Governor had agreed to meet the representatives
after the already ongoing meeting with the Chairman and other members of Bharat Rural
Livelihood Foundation (BRLF) coming all the way from Delhi with prior appointment
together with senior officers of the State Government, but the representatives did
not turn up”, a Raj Bhavan communiqué said.
“It is a well established practice of Raj Bhawan, that whenever organisers of a rally
want to submit a memorandum, usually the officers of the Governor’s Secretariat receive
the memorandum at the Raj Bhawan main gate itself on behalf of the Governor” it said.
Status report on multi-crore PDS
scam submitted to HC
ITANAGAR, Sept 29: Arunachal Pradesh government has submitted a status report on
multi-crore PDS scam to the Gauhati High Court, saying it has given prosecution sanction
against five accused while in case of 13 others the sanction has not been granted.
Additional Advocate-General of the state Kardak Ete yesterday submitted the status
report on behalf of the state government. The court had earlier issued arrest warrants
against top government officials after they failed to turn up as respondents before
it in a PIL.
The Supreme Court had stayed the arrest warrants against the officials who had filed
a special leave petition challenging the high court's order.
As per the status report, the state government has given prosecution sanction against
five accused in the scam while in the case of 13 others it was not accorded.
The PIL was filed in the Itanagar Bench of Gauhati High Court against the state in
2013 seeking the details of officers prosecuted in the Rs 1,000-crore public distribution
system (PDS) scam.
‘Avail benefits of social security schemes’
ITANAGAR, Sept 29: Director of Postal Service in Arunachal Pradesh, Vinod Kumar today
appealed to the people of the state to avail the benefit of social security schemes
like Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojna and Pradhan Mantri Jeewan Jyoti Yojna.
While explaining the various features of the Prime Minister’s social security schemes,
Kumar informed that the media persons that all post office savings bank account holders
between the age group of 18 to 50 years are eligible to avail benefits. Eligible
members may also get themselves enrolled under the schemes at Itanagar head post
office, he said.
In Arunachal Pradesh there are more than 300 post offices under four sub-divisional
level post officers. Under the heads of sub-divisional level post offices there are
sub-post offices and in each cluster of two or three villages there is a branch post
office where officials have started the social security schemes awareness campaign,
Kumar further informed. Highlighting the importance and benefit of the schemes,
Kumar said that Chief Secretary Ramesh Negi has already assured all kind of support
in promotion of the schemes through various departments of the state Government.
He also capped upon the media fraternity of the state to extend support for successful
implementation of the social security schemes.
CS stresses on banks’ participation in scheme implementation
ITANAGAR, Sept 29: Chief Secretary Ramesh Negi today urged upon all the banks in
the state to take active part in implementation of various developmental Govt schemes
in true spirit to improve CD ratio. He was addressing the SLBC meeting organised
by the State Bank of India (SBI) for the quarter ended March and June 2015 at Banquet
Hall here today. While participating in the discussion, the CS also extended some
suggestions for improvement of banking sectors.
Opening of new branches in 3 newly declared districts and at Chayangtajo of East
Kameng district also discussed in the meeting.
Earlier, Gautam Bhattacharya, General Manager, NW-1, State Bank of India, N E Circle,
who is convenor of the SLBC for the state briefly highlighted the achievements of
Principal Secretary, Finance, Satya Gopal and DGM (B&O), SBI, Zonal Office, (Jorhat,)
Tilok Kumar Dhar also spoke on the occasion.
Women urged to play pivotal role for emancipation
ITANAGAR, Sept 29: Vice President of Tanii Supun Dukun, Liagi Miri has exhorted the
women folk to play a pivotal role for overall development of womenfolk in the society.
“A woman is mentally stronger than a man and can lead from the front,” said Miri
in his inaugural address at the launching ceremony of the AWAZ (Apatani Women Association
Ziro) at Govt. H S School Ziro on Sept 26.
“Women can multi task which is not an achievable trait for men, Miri opined and expressed
hope that the Association would take revolutionary steps towards uplift of womenfolk
of the area. Earlier, Miri had unfurled the AWAZ flag. Popi Sarmin (NGO) chairman,
Habung Tago advised the AWAZ to take responsibility to eradicate social evils. “Good
social systems will always be embraced but social evils have to be eradicated,” Tago
said and assured to extend support of Popi Sarmin to the AWAZ in its noble works.
Describing the women as creators of mankind, Ziro MLA Tage Taki said women should
be regarded as the greatest asset of mankind. “Men and women should join hands and
work together towards the betterment of the society, he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Lower Subansiri Superintendent of Police (SP) Tumne Amo
encouraged the women folk saying that at present more women are joining police department
to serve the state. He also wished success to AWAZ in its endeavours.
In her address, AWAZ president, Hage Shalla Yassung emphasised on working together
for the betterment of women, child in particular and the society as a whole.
While appreciating the initiatives of the AWAZ, Lower Subansiri Gaon Burah Association,
vice president, Hage Siira said, “Women have gained respectable position in our society
which cannot be questioned by the men.”
First lady doctor of Apatani community, Dr. Subu Tasso Kampu, while reading out the
bye-laws of AWAZ, said that girl child should be provided equal opportunity in all
fields including sports and education. Stressing the need for making women and girl
child stronger physically, mentally and financially, she also advocated for awareness
workshop on sex education and skill development prog for women. Pointing out the
violence and atrocities against women, she said AWAZ aims to empower women towards
their rights and duty in the society.
While delivering keynote speeches, Dr. Millo Kunya Nengker, AWAZ secretary and Padi
Yanku Hage, Literary and IPR secretary, AWAZ, highlighted the facts that led to the
birth of AWAZ.
Among others, Tadu Tayung Riniya, (Member, Advisory Board, AWAZ), Tailyang Sambyo,
Secretary, Supung Bulyang (NGO) and former minister Tapi Batt also spoke on the occasion.
AWAZ -an apex body for the entire sister NGOs aims at bringing about a change in
the community welfare of women, child and the general public while preserving the
rich cultural heritage of the community, stated a release.
Chalk out strategy for agri schemes: Taram
ITANAGAR, Sept 29: Parliamentary Secretary, Agriculture, Pani Taram has appealed
to the district level officers of agriculture department to find out the lacunae
and chalk out proper strategy for implementation of all state and central Govt sponsored
schemes effectively with visible results. He was addressing the two-day annual review
meeting of the Agriculture department which concluded on Sept 23 at the conference
hall of directorate of Agriculture, Naharlagun.
He also called upon the officers to improve documentation process of scheme implementation
along with display of sign boards. He further advised the department to identify
specific demand of the farmers and suitability of various schemes for a particular
locality. Earlier, Agriculture Commissioner Hage Khoda in his introductory speech
stressed the need of regular field visit of DAOs, SDAOs and ADOs and strict monitoring
of implementation of all schemes. He further directed all senior officers of the
state headquarter including Director, Agriculture to carry out field visits and inspection
in districts to monitor schemes implementation.
He categorically emphasised on the need for soil health management and soil health
card with utmost care. The district level officers were directed to submit scheme-wise
monthly progress reports regularly and ensure submission of utilisation certificate
in time. The Commissioner also emphasised on the close co-ordination of the district
officers with the concerned Nodal Officer of the directorate.
The opening session was followed by technical session and all the district level
head of offices submitted reports of 2014-15 and proposals for 2015-16, according
to an official release.
Town gets CC pavement roads
AALO, Sept 29: The West Siang district administration is currently taking up construction
work of the concrete cement pavement road from Paktu Tinali to Pakam village to improve
the deteriorating road condition of Aalo township.
The project is being executed by TK Engineering Company and is likely to be completed
this year. The company is also taking up maintenance works from Aalo bridge point
to Bam. Meanwhile, the road construction work at Sipu Colony, police station to Bogdo
area and Pakam to Yeggo have been completed while, work at upper colony is also nearing
completion. PWD EE Dukjum Lona has been constantly monitoring the construction work.
World Heart Day creates awareness on CVDs
PASIGHAT, Sept 29: The World Heart Day was observed in a befitting manner with the
theme “creating heart-healthy environments” at the Pasighat General Hospital here
Attending the programme, East Siang Deputy Commissioner Isha Khosla said that the
main objective of the celebration was to spread the awareness of the importance of
heart. “People don’t go for time bound heart check up. Even doctors do not check
their blood pressure regularly. We must adopt healthy foods and take part in physical
activities. There should be grassroot level awareness programme on heart care, the
DC said and instructed the Non Communicable Disease (NCD) programme officer Dr.
Tarik Talom to organise such programmes on cardiovascular disease (CVD) at school
Dr. Tarik Talom, District Programme officer (NCD) informed that the CVDs are the
number one killer disease in the world. He highlighted the importance and introduction
of NPCDCS programme in the district. Talom also urged the people to get diagnosis
and treatment of diseases like diabetes, CVDs, hypertension and cancer etc in the
General Hospital, Pasighat and in Boleng, Ruksin and Nari CHCs.
Kaling Dai, ZPC Pasighat, Deputy Director, District Health Society, Rina Das Tabyo
and DMO M Perme also spoke on the occasion. DIPRO
Meanwhile a programme was organised at the district hospital, Seppa to observe the
World Heart Day which was attended by the medical officers, ASHAs facilitators from
various villages of the district today.
Speaking on the occasion, ADC Pooja Jain advised all to maintain a healthy diet and
not to consume tobacco and alcohol etc. She also said that inactiveness and lack
of exercise leads to obesity which causes various health problems. She further asked
AHSAs to pass on the knowledge which they have gained from the programme to their
Dr. K Gyadi with the help of a power point presentation gave tips on maintaining
healthy diet with physical exercise. DRCHO Dr.K Lapung, medicine specialist, Dr.
Lipe Ete, MO Dr. Kapu Soping and Dr. S K Sumon also spoke on the occasion.
The Day was also observed by the Vivekananda Centre of Excellence, Naharlagun at
the centre today wherein hundreds of people took part. The celebration was aimed
at creating awareness on good health through yoga.
Highlighting the contribution of yoga in the day to day life, the centre’s yoga therapist
explained that mental relaxation through meditation and Yoga contributes immensely
in preventing arteriosclerosis. (DIPRO/ correspondents)
Drive against Opium in LDV
ITANAGAR, Sept 29: A meeting was held today in the Lower Dibang Valley Deputy Commissioner’s
chamber to chalk out action plan to combat Opium menace in the district. Ravi Dhawan,
Deputy Commissioner, LDV while informing that government has adopted zero tolerance
approach to the Opium menace asked participants to identify the area where Opium/Poppy
plant is being cultivated in the district.
He directed the SDO (SADAR) Roing to form multiple teams comprising of magistrate,
HoDs, Tax & Excise department, police personnel and members from NGOs. Since the
sowing period of poppy plant begins from the month of October, a comprehensive awareness
campaign would be chalked out beginning from the first week of October. “Thereafter,
if any Poppy cultivation is found in the district, it will be destroyed and burnt”,
the DC warned.
It was also decided to put up police beat post at Koronu Circle headquarter from
the month of November in order to check any trafficking of drugs from Lohit and Namsai
into the district. DC also directed the department of Tax & Excise to take strict
punitive action against those wine shops that are found selling liquor after 7 PM
in the evening. He also asked the NGOs to take help of GBs whenever they go for anti-drugs
campaign and for checking of illegal selling of liquor in villages.
Administrative Officers, DSP Roing, Officers from Tax & Excise Department, Health
Department & SIB, Members of Adi Baane Kebang Women Wing and Enjalo Menda Women Empowerment
Forum, Roing were present in the meeting. (DIPRO)
Regional media workshop for IPV & Pentavalent
ITANAGAR, Sept 29: A one-day regional media workshop for IPV & Pentavalent introduction
in the Northeastern states organised by RRC-NE (Branch of NHSRC) in collaboration
with UNICEF was held on Tuesday at Indian Institute of Bank Management, Guwahati.
A five member delegation from Arunachal Pradesh headed by F&W Deputy Director P Dutta,
and NHM Nodal Officer D Padung attended the workshop.
Speaking on the occasion, UNICEF Health Specialist Dr Sameer Pawar emphasising on
the awareness on the vaccines said, “We want to create new opportunity for children
with two new vaccines which will decrease the pain of vaccination but will increase
RRC NE Dr Hitesh Deka while highlighting the benefits of new vaccines said that the
main challenges for such initiatives are coverage and proper awareness on it.
Presenting the statistical data for partial or no immunization, Deka informed that
19.1 percent population in Arunachal Pradesh does not know about the vaccine while
five percent fear about the side effects, and the rest 1.7 percent cannot afford
Deka while clearing the doubts of the participants regarding its side effects said
that the vaccines are not only developed in India but is also a major exporter of
the same worldwide so the question of side effects does not arise.
He also informed that it is being administered free of cost by the Government of
It is to be mentioned here that the total percentage of children between 12-23 months
fully immunized in the state stands at 49.2 percent as 38.60 percent are partially
immunized while 12.27 percent of children between 12 to 13 months are not immunized
at all, as per the Immunization Coverage (DLHS 2012-13) data.
Sessions on Pentavalent/IPV operational aspects like revised National Immunization
Schedule, operational guidelines, Polio Endgame Strategy, communicating and media
planning were also conducted.
The Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine (IPV) is an injectable vaccine to be administered
with the third dose of Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) to further strengthen the immune
system of children for fighting against the polio virus.
Though no cases of polio in India has been recorded since January 2011 and has been
certified as polio free nation, IPV is being introduced into the routine immunization
programme as part of the Polio Endgame Strategy.
A Pentavalent Vaccine is five individual vaccines conjugated in one which provides
protection to a child against five life threatening diseases- Diphtheria, Pertussia,
Tetanus, Hepatitis B and Haemophilus Influenza type b (Hib).
Pentavalent vaccine was launched in India in 2011 while both Pentavalent and IPV
is scheduled to be launched in Arunachal Pradesh during the last week of October.
The pentavalent vaccine will replace the current Hepatitis B and DPT primary vaccination
schedule and immunization programme.
Additionally Hepatitis B birth dose will continue as before, in institutional birth
within 24 hours of birth. DPT booster at 16-24 months and 5-6 years will also continue
NFSA implementation review meet held
ITANAGAR, Sept 29: The review of National Food Security Act, 2013 - preparedness
for implementation was held today in the Directorate of Food & Civil Supplies. It
was attended by all the District Food Civil Supplies Officers including officers
of the Directorate and was chaired by Secretary Food & Civil Supplies, Gamli Padu.
The Secretary acknowledged the exercise on preparatory steps for implementation of
the Act carried out on war footing by the field functionaries of the department over
the last two years. He appreciated DF&CSOs for completing the cumbersome task of
selection of Priority Households and AAY beneficiaries as envisaged under NFSA 2013.
The DFCSOs expressed concern over the delay in supply of computers and new software
for the effective implementation of digitisation, online allocation etc. under NFSA
in the state. The Secretary informed that the EOI in this regard has already been
completed and RFP file is under submission awaiting early clearance. The DFCSOs appreciated
the technical support given to them by the ICT Cell of the Department. Uploading
and cleansing of this data was not an easy task without basic internet connectivity
and limited computing resources. They expressed that this would help the DFCSOs to
target and quantify the beneficiaries under NFSA.
The ICT Cell reiterated that despite lack of data connectivity in the state the department
was able to achieve digitisation of the beneficiaries against all odds. The Secretary
also asked the officers not to get deterred by the same. NFSA is an Act which provides
for the poor and needy and the department should ensure that it implements the same.
The Secretary further exhorted all DF&CSOs to continue the activity of Aadhaar and
Bank Account seeding and also to intensify the activity during issuance of NFSA ration
cards. He informed that bank account seeding shall be required for cash transfer
for food security allowance under the Act and also to prepare the state for Direct
Benefit of Transfer (DBT) of cash subsidy under NFSA in future. He also informed
that Aadhaar seeding is of paramount importance for de-duplication of ration card
database to eliminate bogus ration cards and beneficiaries under NFSA.
DFCSO Capital Complex Amit Bengia suggested that until Aadhaar seeding is completed
to de-duplicate central repository of NFSA beneficiary database, de-duplication may
be done at the best level by sharing digitised beneficiary lists between DF&CSOs
as per the general migratory pattern. He asked for the digitised beneficiary database
of all districts to de-duplicate NFSA beneficiary database in Capital Complex as
there is a pattern of huge migration of population from all districts to Capital
Complex which results in very likelihood of duplication of a beneficiary in a district
and Capital Complex.
Earlier, Director (incharge) Tojir Kadu while highlighting the challenges in the
implementation of the act informed that there were still major administrative obstacles,
specific to the state, in implementation of the Act for which the Govt at both the
state and centre have been apprised of already. He informed that the centre has fixed
a flat transportation charge @ rate of Rs.100 per Qtls for food grains under NFSA
for which the department has already intimated the insufficiency of the rate in its
reply to both the centre and the state considering the tough mountainous terrain
in the state.
Tawang hosts anti drugs and gender sensitisation programme
Tawang, Sept 29: A two days state level anti-drugs awareness campaign and gender
sensitisation programme was launched in Tawang on Saturday.
State Project Coordinator N.Siram while addressing the participants said that, “The
younger generation is more vulnerable and prone to drugs and it remains the supreme
responsibility of the stakeholders to safeguard our state and the youth”.
“The girl child is being neglected and their fundamental and educational rights are
overlooked. Just because of biological dissimilarity, they are subjected to domestic
violence and abuses”, he said.
Tawang DDSE Apel Tayeng called on everyone to rise and join hands in the fight against
drugs menace and gender inequality. “The ST/SC community is lagging far behind in
comparison to other communities of the nation and their kids are being abused on
a large scale. The Govt. is very keen to shield the weaker communities and such
schemes come as blessings for the state”, he stated, lauding the initiative.
Later, in the technical session, resource persons, Sub Inspector, Oyin Tari and ICTC
Counsellor, Dondup Dolma lucidly elaborated on POCSO, domestic violence, drug abuse,
and AIDS. Yeshi Tsomu, Gender-Coordinator, SSA also spoke on the vitality of women
empowerment, gender sensitisation and girls education.
Organised by SSA Rajya Mission, Itanagar, under the intervention from SC/ST innovation
unit, Arunachal Pradesh, the training was attended by District Project Coordinator,
Sangey Wangchu, SMCs, BRCCs, CRCCs, NGOs and school teachers.
Most places in India are prone to disasters: Rijiju
New Delhi, Sept 29: Most of the places in India are prone to disasters and government
is taking scientific approach to deal with any calamity, Minister of State for Home,
Kiren Rijiju said today.
"India is prone to all types of disasters and most of the places are prone to disasters,"
Rijiju said and requested all state governments and stakeholders to be ready to face
Addressing the 11th formation day of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA),
he said the Central government is positive in putting efforts in disaster management
in the country.
Now the Centre is putting 100 per cent efforts for disaster mitigation and has left
no stone unturned to address all disaster related issues, he said.
Rijiju said disaster mitigation should be looked from the scientific point of view
and the approach should also be scientific to deal with it.
The Minister said there are natural disasters and man-made disasters and everyone
has to be prepared to tackle them.
Rijiju also said each state government must have its own disaster response force
of their own.
He said India is going to organise first Asian Ministerial meet on disaster management
and Indian disaster response forces have gone beyond the boundaries to tackle disasters
as they have no boundaries.
"We have gone a long way in disaster management but still to cover a lot," he said.
A training manual on how to conduct emergency management exercise (EMEx) was released
by the Minister on the occasion.
The EMExes are large scale urban exercises focusing on capacity building of various
stakeholders engaged in the areas of disaster management and creation of a pool of
master trainers in each emergency support function of the respective city and urban
Constitutional and legal complexities in Chakma-Hajong citizenship issue-an analysis
[ Dr. Topi Basar ]
Citizenship is not merely a natural birth right, it is qualified and regulated by
legal provisions. Under the Constitution of India Articles 5 to 11 deals with it.
Person born in India, either of the parents born in India or who had been ordinarily
residing in India for not less than five years immediately before the commencement
of the constitution could get registration as per Article 5. It was in view of the
partition of India. However, Article 5 is silent on citizenship status of person
born after 1950. We need to refer to section 3 of the Citizenship Act 1955, through
series of amendments the following cut off dates were fixed for conferring citizenship
to persons born in India: between 26 Jan 1950 to 1 July 1987; between 1 July 1987
to 2003 but with a condition that either of the parents is a citizen of India at
the time of his birth whereas this is not a requirement in the first cut-off date
mentioned here. For a person born after 2003 if both his parents are citizens of
India or one of the parents is a citizen and the other parent is not an illegal migrant
at the time of birth (at least one condition to be met).
Section 5 of the Act deals with rules and procedures for obtaining citizenship by
registration. Under this the Central government may register as a citizen of India
on an application made by any person who is not an illegal migrant such as a person
of Indian origin who are ordinarily resident in India for seven years before making
an application for registration (sec.5 (1) (a)). But it is subject to such conditions
and restrictions as may be prescribed by the central government. The honourable Supreme
Court has applied this section in case of Chakma and Hajong. For this section, person
shall be deemed to be of Indian origin if he, or either of his parents, was born
in undivided India (Pakistan, Bangladesh).
There are no specific provisions under the Constitution or in the other laws or Rules
enacted by the Central government dealing with granting of citizenship to refugees
in India. Refugees are asylum seekers who flee their natural country due to some
adverse situations which are detrimental to their life and security and general wellbeing.
Many of them may opt to go back when the situation improves or may decide to stay
back forever in the country granting them asylum. The rights of refugees are essentially
based on the universal principle of human rights and humanitarian principle of law.
This principle is well accepted by all the sovereign nations of the world although
there may be no adequate domestic law on the refugee rights. Granting of citizenship
is not merely a constitutional or legal matter but entails whole socio-cultural-economic
complexities. All these issues need proper redressal before a final decision is taken.
It is the onus of the Centre, State as well as the judiciary to take a balanced view.
Only basing the decision on the humanitarian aspects not saying that it should not
be there and ignoring the other equally important socio-cultural and economic dimensions
would be equitably unjust.
This is apparently the case with the Chakma-Hajong citizenship issue. The moot question
is not that whether the Chakma-Hajong should be granted Indian citizenship or not.
The most serious matter is how the government both the Centre and State have dealt
with it respectively. Firstly, decision to settle Chakmas and Hajongs in Arunachal
Pradesh was the result of an agreement between the Centre and Assam in 1970s. Why
not Assam but Arunachal Pradesh was chosen when Assam had far more resources to take
care of them? They had entered Assam first and then sent to Arunachal Pradesh deliberately
by both the key actors without any approval of the State government as it was under
NEFA administration at that time. And what about the will of the people of Arunachal
Pradesh? Therefore the decision to settle the Chakma-Hajong to Arunachal Pradesh
was erroneous from the beginning as it was not made in consultation with a legitimate
government of the State duly elected by the people but made by a third State on behalf
of Arunachal. How that decision can be validly imposed against the unwilling democratically
elected state government and its people. And why did not Centre compel the state
of Assam also to share the burden having better resources and multi-cultural society?
It is nothing but a decision forcibly entrusted upon the State in the most arbitrary
manner totally unbecoming of a federal country.
The Chakma and Hajong tribes from erstwhile East Bangladesh are said to migrate to
India in 1964-1969 much after the commencement of the Constitution. Hence Article
5 of the Constitution is not applicable in this case as they came much after 1950.Their
legal fight for citizenship began in 1995 when the NHRC filed a writ petition seeking
direction from the Supreme Court to ensure the Chakmas and Hajongs are not forcibly
ousted from the State of Arunachal Pradesh. The Central government stated before
the court that Chakmas were residing in the State of Arunachal Pradesh for more than
three decades and had close social, religious and economic ties (not supported with
any material evidence). As per joint statement issued by the Prime Ministers of India
and Bangladesh in February, 1972, the Union government took a decision to confer
citizenship on the Chakmas under section 5 (1) (a) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.The
stand of the AP was that it had provided basic amenities to the Chakmas but the State
had a right to ask the Chakmas to quit the State. The State could not permit outsiders
to settle within its territory as it had limited resources and the Union of India
had refused to share its responsibility. It will also disturb its ethnic balance
and destroy its culture and identity (apparently the court was not convinced on this
point).The court held by virtue of their long and prolonged stay in the State, the
Chakmas who migrated to, and those born in the State could seek citizenship under
the Constitution and under section 5 of the Act and as per the procedures stated
in Rule 8 and Rule 9 of the Citizenship Rules 1956.
Accordingly, direction was issued to the State of AP to ensure that life and liberty
of Chakmas residing in the State was protected against any attempt to evict them
by the AAPSU and their applications could be forwarded to the Central government
as it was alleged that the State of AP was not forwarding the application to the
former as required under Rule 9. It was in 1972 the Union Government took a decision
to confer citizenship to Chakmas and in 2015 the matter is still far from over.
The Chakmas also presented a petition to the 10th Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Committee
on 14th August 1997. The Committee recommended that the Chakmas who came prior to
25.3.1971 be granted Indian citizenship. Regarding the fate of those Chakmas who
came to the State after 25.3.1971 be decided by the central government and State
government jointly. The committee also recommended that Chakmas be also considered
for granting them status of Scheduled Tribes at the time of granting the citizenship.
But the said recommendation is not acted upon. The specification of dates to determine
the eligibility criteria for citizenship based on material documentary evidence is
crucial in order to grant citizenship to the genuinely deserving Chakmas. It is been
widely reported that the influx of refugees have continued unabated post 1970 until
quite recently, a fact which the State of AP has to substantiate with evidence. The
Central government is absolutely silent on this fact and the judiciary also has not
taken note of it probably the State has not urged it before the court. The government
must be in a position to clearly distinguish between who are the eligible Chakmas
for citizenship and who are not by a clear rule. If the government is genuinely concerned
about the fate of Chakma-Hajongs the identification of genuine and deserving claimant
and a justly arrived cut off date for consideration of citizenship is the immediate
step needed. On this point, the above recommendation by the 10thLok Sabha seems reasonable.
On 23rd March 2005, the Election Commission of India issued a guideline for revision
of electoral rolls in respect of areas where there is substantial presence of Chakmas
and Hajongs. Further on 3rd October, 2007 another guideline for revision of electoral
rolls with reference to 1st January, 2007 as the qualifying date for the inclusion
of Chakmas and Hajongs in the electoral roll.
The AAPSU filed a PIL in 2010 before the Gauhati High Court which was dismissed.
Thus, the right to vote got conferred on them legally even when the complete procedure
for conferment of citizenship has not been accomplished yet. Probably this is the
first case in India where group of people were included in to the electoral rolls
even while the formal conferment of citizenship had not been completed. The application
for registration as citizen under section 5 of the Act has to be duly recommended
by the state of AP. It has been alleged that the applications forwarded had also
contained more negative remarks than positive. Under Rule 9 of citizenship rules
1956, the application for registration as citizen has to be made in the prescribed
form to the deputy commissioner of the given area, he/she has to forward the application
after due inquiry. However, the final authority to register a person as citizen is
vested in the officer named under Rule 8 (central power).The central government has
always maintained before the court that the DC does not forward the applications
therefore it is not in a position to take a decision whether or not to register Chakmas
and Hajongs as a citizen of India. Many applications directly submitted to the Ministry
of Home have also been returned to the state for due procedure to be completed which
is not acted upon so the matter remains pending as ever (4637 applications returned,
figure quoted in NHRC case). Rule 8 and Rule 9 is a mandatory procedure to be complied
with before registration of a person as citizen under section 5 of the Act, 1956.
The court’s order of citizenship will have to be enforced by following the procedure
established by the law as cited above.
Coming to the recent judgment of the honourable Supreme Court on dated 17 Sept. 2015,
this was the outcome of the writ petition filed in 2007 by the Committee for Citizenship
Rights of the Chakmas of Arunachal Pradesh seeking for direction against the Union
of India through Ministry of Home Affairs to grant citizenship to the Chakma and
Hajongs of AP. The Court has held that Chakma and Hajongs need to be protected and
their claims of citizenship need to be considered as per applicable procedure. They
could not be discriminated in any manner pending formal conferment of rights of citizenship.
Their status also stands duly acknowledged in the guidelines of the EC of India.
Accordingly the court has directed the Government of India and the state of AP to
finalise the conferment of citizenship rights on eligible Chakmas and Hajongs and
to comply with earlier judicial decisions on the matter within three months from
the date of the judgement. The court has not indicated any specific cut off date
for eligible Chakmas. I am of the view that in the absence of this it would mean
any Chakmas and Hajongs residing in AP immaterial of the fact when they arrived here
is eligible to apply for registration. That would be total violation of the Constitution
and unfair to the people of Arunachal Pradesh.
The State has also not presented authentic statistics on number of Chakmas-Hajongs,
population of adults, children, workforce, employed, unemployed, intermarriages
and status of current influx or illegal migrants to substantiate its stand before
the court. The court has not expressed any opinion on the issue of ST status to the
Chakmas. Even in the earlier decisions of the courts ST status has not been dealt
with. This is again a different matter altogether. The issue of citizenship and ST
are too different thing. The ST status can only be conferred as per Article 342 of
the Constitution and not under other laws. It also does not mean that a person even
if he or she is a recognised tribal from another country, if given citizenship then
automatically entitled to be ST of the State where they are residing. For conferment
of ST status separate constitutional provision contained in article 342 is applicable
The legal position on refugee in matters of citizenship is complex due to absence
of clear legal provisions on it. It is only due to the humanitarian approach of the
judiciary and the government concerned that the existing laws are being positively
construed to give benefit of citizenship to refugees residing for long in India.
The matter is more complex in case of mass migration involving an indefinite class
of population and when the local population and the host state are not in favour
of granting citizenship. For example, Tibetans in India have been given special status
by the government of India in some respects like seats are reserved for their children
in some educational institutions under a valid law but they have not been conferred
citizenship in India same is the case with Afghan refugees. As in these cases the
rule is uniformly applicable on all the parts of India. But, the Chakma case is different
as it will have implications only upon the State of AP. Though judiciary has always
been supportive of Chakma demand for citizenship as evident from several orders passed
in this regard. But neither the court nor the respective governments are looking
in to the core issues involved. Who are the eligible ones? How to determine eligibility?
What should be the cut off year for it? Status of infiltration or influx? Social
and cultural impacts and impact on resources of the state are completely left out
of the purview of the matter. Unless these issues are tackled by the Central government
and the State in a committed and concerted way, hurdles will always be created before
lawful conferment of citizenship of Chakmas. Thus it is not yet end of the battle
for the Chakmas and Hajongs in reality.
(The contributor is Associate Professor, National Law University Assam and may be
contacted at [email protected])
Refugee Imbroglio- “The Battle, the number
game and Possible Solutions”
[ Bikash Bage ]
Presently it is not an easy task to determine the exact population of Chakmas in
Arunachal Pradesh. For one thing, the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU)
the apex body spearheading the movement for the detachment and expulsion of the Chakmas
and Hajongs and the Committee for the Citizenship Rights of the Chakmas of Arunachal
Pradesh (CCRCAP), the organisation dreaming of Chakmas right of citizenship in the
country seldom have similarity on the population number.
It is a fact that a large numbers of Chakmas have allegedly been kept outside the
purview of Census operations. The supposedly reason being the fear that their enumeration
would pave the way to their claim to Indian citizenship. It is also believed by some
local Arunachalees that Chakma immigration from across both internal within the states
and international borders continues unabated even today which is a continuous process.
The Census figure for Chakma and Hajong resettlement in Arunachal Pradesh indicated
that according to 1981 there were 24,083 Chakmas and 1433 Hajongs and later in 1991
census, it was recorded that there were 30062 Chakmas and 2134 in the state. Government
of Arunachal Pradesh in Feb’1995 estimated that the Chakma refugee population was
34,493. But there is biasness in this regard as it has been indicated that the number
could be more as much as 46,000 to 50,000. In September 1995 in a memorandum placed
to the central government by the People’s Referendum Rally for deportation of Chakma/Hajong
refugees from the state, it was indicated that the number had swelled to over 60,000.
But it is for sure that the decadal growth rate of the Chakmas, according to Census
figures shows at least 25 percent increase, as compared to the state average of 36.83
But there is other side of the coin as Government survey shows Chakma and Hajong
population is not increasing. The recent survey conducted by the state government
of Arunachal Pradesh to ascertain the total population of Chakma and Hajong communities
has put to rest the debate on the alleged rise in their population.
The Chakmas are settled in Changlang, Papum Pare and Lohit districts. According to
the 2001 census, the total population of the Chakmas and Hajongs was 42,333 in the
state. In Feb’ 2011, according to the Special Survey Report of Chakma and Hajong
communities in the state, total population was 46,691 in Changlang district as in
(Arunachal Times, March 29, 2011). Whereas the data of 2001 census tells their total
population as 35,390 persons in the district. Thus, recording a decadal growth of
31.93 percent. In 1991-2001 the decadal growth of Chakmas and Hajongs was 31.48 per
cent. This indicates that the growth is less than 1 per cent (0.45 percent).
While the overall total population of the Chakmas and Hajongs in the state is reported
to be around 53,800 persons presently. This means that the decadal growth rate of
the Chakmas and Hajongs has come down to about 27 percent from 31.48 per cent during
the 1991-2001 census periods.
This is a positive sign considering that some districts in the state where there
is no Chakma-Hajong population recorded increase in growth rate. According to the
provisional census 2011 data, the decadal growth for the Upper Subansiri district
increased to 50.34 percent (2001-2011) from a low of 10.50 percent in 1991-2001.
While the decadal growth of East Kameng district increased to 37.14 percent from
13.46 percent and Lower Subansiri increased to 48.65 percent from 29.15 percent.
Surprisingly, the newly created district of Kurung Kumey which is declared by the
state government as one of the backward districts recorded more than 100 percent
increase with 111.01 percent in 2001-2011 from meager 6.24 percent in the 1991-2001
The popular debate and fear over the rapid increase in population of the Chakmas
and Hajongs is far from the truth and hypothetical. The growth is normal and natural.
They are mainly found in areas of Diyun and Bordumsa in Changlang, Chowkham in Lohit
and Kokila areas of Papum Pare districts. In his appeal to the Members of Parliament
made on 8 August 1995, the then President of the Committee for Citizenship Rights
of the Chakmas of Arunachal Pradesh (CCRCAP) estimated the Chakma population at 66,000
approximately. Miao subdivision has the largest concentration of the Chakmas in Arunachal
Pradesh. In 1981, tribals constituted a majority in all the districts of Arunachal
Pradesh excepting Lohit and Dibang valley and the number of refugees of all varieties
stood at 81,000 although according to AAPSU that was agitating for the repatriation
of the refugees to Bangladesh, their number stands at 100,000. By 1991, the tribals
lost their majority status also in Changlang formerly known as Tirap where their
fall has been rather sharp and spectacular (from 62.15 % in 1981 to 34.83 % in 1991).
This is a proof that there has been a slight but steady decline of tribal population
in all the districts. If we look at the 1991 census the growth of the refugees is
actually phenomenal compared to the total population that stood at 8,58,392.
Now it is a mountainous task for the state government or any of the pressure groups
of the state to actually endorse the actual numbers of Chakmas and Hajongs in the
The question of the deportation of the Chakmas and Hajongs, the Buddhist and Hindu
refugees from the erstwhile East Pakistan, from the State has continued to occupy
the centre-stage of Arunachal Pradesh politics for quite some time now.
The “Refugee Go-Back” movement originally launched by the All-Arunachal Pradesh Students
Union (AAPSU), which has consistently held the view that the refugees are ‘foreigners’
and Arunachal cannot be made the ‘dumping ground’, gained momentum in the wake of
the ‘People’s Referendum Rally’ held on September 20, 1995 at Naharlagun, Itanagar.
It was at this rally that AAPSU and the leaders of all existing political parties
in the State including the ruling Congress (I) under Gegong Apang, the Chief Minister
of the State since 1979 had set 31st Dec’95 as the deadline for the centre to evict
the refugees from the State. The leaders of all political parties present at the
rally had vowed to resign from the primary membership of their respective parties
and form a ‘Common Organisation of Indigenous People’ if their demand was not met
by the Central Government before the expiry of the deadline.
What has, however, happened in the post-deadline phase of the movement was only expected.
The central Government did intervene at the eleventh hour by announcing the formation
of a ‘high-level committee’ to look into the matter. Acting on a petition filed by
the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the Supreme Court in its recent verdict
of January 9, 1996 has ruled out any forcible eviction of the refugees by directing
the State Government to seek all possible help from the Central Government to protect
the lives of the refugees residing in the State. In opposition to the pronouncement
of this verdict by the Supreme Court, a 15-member core committee comprising largely
of members from the Apang Ministry and some other important leaders from the opposition
parties had been set up to look into the question of deportation of the refugees
from the State. Expressing its resentment over the verdict, AAPSU has further hardened
its stance on the refugees issue by declaring that they are not bound by the verdict.
Protesting against the verdict, AAPSU gave a 10-hour bandh call on Republic Day making
its celebration only symbolic in nature.
The existing situation in the State over the refugee issue throws open a series of
questions to any casual observer. Does the continuing presence of the refugees in
the state really pose that big a threat that it deserves the adoption of such extreme
positions as taken by all important political and non-political forces alike at the
rally held in September? Who is to be blamed for their continuing presence in the
State, anyway? Would it be fair to blame it on to the refugees for where there are
today, for it was certainly not they themselves who opted to stay in Arunachal Pradesh?
Or, can they simply be blamed for not having a home and seeking refuge in India?
After all, what was it that made them seek shelter in India? Moreover, what was it
that brought them, of all the places in the country, to the state of Arunachal Pradesh?
The Buddhist Chakmas and Hindu Hajongs, the innocent victims of partition, originally
belonged to the Chittagong Hill Tracts and Maimensingh districts respectively, a
part of erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Pakistan’s policy of persistent
religious persecution of these Buddhist tribes and the displacement caused by the
Kaptai Hydel Power Project forced them to migrate and take refuge in India in 1964.
But what was it that made these refugees finally settle down in Arunachal Pradesh
which has been enjoying a ‘Special Protected Area’ status since the pre-independence
period under the provisions of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873? According
to this regulation even Indian citizens of other states cannot stay in Arunachal
Pradesh permanently. In other words, any Indian citizen from states other than Arunachal
Pradesh, as per the rules of the regulation, cannot own any piece of land or develop
any permanent stake in the State. Interestingly, following an order issued by the
Governor-General in 1876 even the British subjects were prohibited from going beyond
the inner-line without a pass under the hand and seal of an authorised political
officer. This protectionist policy has been continuing uninterruptedly since then
with the objective of safeguarding the indigenous culture and identity of the Arunachalees
from the onslaught of external influences. It is, therefore, only natural for the
Arunachalees to demand an explanation for the arrival and continuing presence of
the refugees in the state despite all these protectionist measures adopted by the
Government of India.
Initially, only about 57 families of Chakmas and Hajongs were given shelter in government
camps at Ledo in Dibrugarh, Assam in 1964. Thereafter, they were settled in Abhaypur
Block of Diyun circle of the erstwhile Tirap District of Arunachal Pradesh purely
on temporary and humanitarian grounds by the then North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA)
administration which was directly under the control of the Central Government. This
idea of temporary settlement of the refugees in this region was basically a result
of an understanding in 1964 between the then Governor of Assam, Vishnu Sahay and
the then Chief Minister of Assam, B.P. Chaliha. Vishnu Sahay felt that the continuing
presence of the Chakmas in the Mizo district might lead to Mizo-Chakma conflict and
so he suggested to the then Chief Minister that they be settled temporarily in Tirap
division of NEFA which was thinly populated at that time. It is this element of temporariness
of their settlement in the state which has now become a bone of contention between
the people who are leading the movement and the Central Government. At present the
Chakmas and Hajongs are settled in Chowkham in Lohit district; Miao, Bordumsa and
Diyun in Changlang district, and Balijan and Kokila in Papum Pare district of Arunachal
The indigenous people of the state perceive a danger to their identity and culture
being posed by an ever-increasing concentration of the Chakmas and Hajongs in the
state. According to AAPSU, the population of the refugees has swollen to approximately
60,000 as against the 57 families originally settled in 1966 in Diyun. It may not
be fair to blame it on the indigenous people for their increasing assertiveness on
the issue of eviction of the refugees from the state for they fear that rapid demographic
changes in the three districts since 1951 may soon see them being outnumbered with
all its concomitant social, economic and political consequences. For example, according
to the figures given in the 1991 census, the indigenous tribal population of the
two districts of Lohit and Changlang where the Chakmas and Hajongs are residing,
is only 74,000 out of the total population of 202,523 (which includes other Indian
citizens also) in these two districts.
The issue of granting citizenship to the refugees has also figured prominently in
all debates and is being considered seriously by the Central Government. AAPSU has
strongly condemned centres insistence on granting citizenship to the refugees and
believes that it is an attempt to woo the potential voters at the cost of annoying
the indigenous people of the State. Could the grant of citizenship end the helplessness
of the refugees? Maybe not as the real issue facing the leaders of the movement is
not whether the refugees are granted citizenship or not but that they must be resettled
outside the state. The State Government is quite determined that even if the settlers
were to be granted citizenship they would have to leave the State.
Though the Chakmas and Hajongs have continued to stay on in the state they have suffered
immensely though they themselves did not volunteer to come to Arunachal Pradesh but
were instead brought here as a matter of policy decision by the Indian government.
The withdrawal of basic amenities like employment opportunities, termination of trade
license and confiscation of ration cards have made it quite difficult for the refugees
to survive. Faced with frequent quit notices issued by AAPSU and the Centre’s insincerity
in finding out a long term solution, the refugees find themselves in the midst of
uncertainty. But it’s a fact that the presence of Chakma-Hajong communities in the
State is perceived as a potential threat to their indigenous tribal culture and traditions
by the host tribal communities. Their apprehension is that the Chakma-Hajong refugees
could in future emerge as a dominant political force. Such an eventuality would seal
any prospects of their deportation. The indigenous people of their state are increasingly
worried about the alleged gradual transfer of their land to the refugees. Although
the refugees are also accused of encroaching on the reserved forest land
Besides all these elaborations, my personal observation is that, there are however
primarily three sets of issues in favour of the refugees claiming their right to
protection, if not citizenship:
First, the legal argument that the refugees need to be recognized as citizens is
in consonance with the memorandum of understanding signed in 1972 between Sheikh
Mujibur Rahman and Mrs. Indira Gandhi.
Second, the Refugees supposed to have contributed to the enrichment of the economy
in agricultural economy (Settled cultivation) of Arunachal Pradesh- research required
Third, the issue of “Being Human’. While the identity of the indigenous people could
be an issue in so far as it faces threat, this per se cannot in any way be an argument
for depriving the Chakmas of their most basic right to life and liberty, which they
are entitled to as human beings.
Therefore proposed actions to address the problems are at least of three major issues
which have to be taken into consideration before any recommendation is attempted.
First, it calls for a certain renegotiation of the federal relations between the
Centre and the states. While the Central Government urges on the State Government
to carry out what it considers as its ‘national’ responsibility, the State Government
accuses the Central Government of having taken a ‘callous and indifferent attitude’
towards the ‘unanimous demand’ of the people of the State in terms of presumptions
of allowing the Supreme court’s recent judgment of granting citizenship.
Secondly, we have to understand that there are limitations on what law and courts
can deliver. They can and have perhaps done their best insofar as the refugee issue
is concerned; but their decisions are hindered by the implementing authorities of
the state for all the reason as spelled above. Options along the legal purview seem
to have been exhausted.
Thirdly, the Civil society and may be including media in Arunachal Pradesh is highly
fractured indiscriminately, polarized between two opposite facts. While a part of
it gravitates around the Committee for Citizenship Rights of the Chakmas of Arunachal
Pradesh in seeing the UDHR and ICPCR, the other part or most of the mainstream society
in Arunachal Pradesh looks upon the All-Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU)
as the torch bearer in correctly addressing this unfortunately grave and pertinent
issue in today’s human civilization.
The current question of the Chakma and Hajong refugees in Arunachal Pradesh is rooted
in the conflicts which emerged between the reactionary ruling blocs of India and
Pakistan and, subsequently, Bangladesh, which engendered the expulsion of the Chakma
and Hajong peoples from their traditional homelands. The Indian government violated
the legal provisions which prohibit people from outside Arunachal Pradesh from even
entering the state. Moreover it rode roughshod over the wishes of the indigenous
tribal peoples of the state who at no time were consulted in the matter of the settlement
of the refugees. A democratic solution to the problem has to be sought which satisfies
the people of Arunachal Pradesh and which takes into full consideration the humanitarian
requirements of the Chakma and Hajong peoples.
The crux of the problem lies in the fact that the rights claimed by the refugees
come into conflict with the absolute rights of the indigenous tribes with a ‘distinct
way of life’. It is only apparent and natural that further steps in this regard has
to consider wider social acceptance so that it is viewed as acceptable by the contending
parties. It is also essential that as per my understanding, one has to accept and
realize that rights-based provisions may not necessarily be acceptable solutions.
The question here is how does one set the ball rolling? One possible step in this
regard is to organize a series of dialogues till one becomes successful because we
just cannot afford to be unsuccessful in this relation which truly is going to be
a long process. It is important that we organize dialogues with lower or middle-level
leaders and that per se may be regarded as an achievement in an otherwise stalemated
situation. It is suggested that these dialogues may be organized in a third venue
presumably outside Arunachal Pradesh. (The Author is Assistant Professor in Department
of Sociology, Rajiv Gandhi University, Arunachal Pradesh)