Northeast News – AAPSU stages rally over offspring issue

by Guwahati_City


Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, 5 Oct: Agitated by the failure of the social justice & empowerment and tribal affairs (SJETA) department to come up with a draft on the ST status of children born to APST mothers and non-APST fathers, the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) on Tuesday staged a statewide peaceful rally.

Thousands of students, including members of district students’ unions, community-based organizations and schoolchildren joined the protest rally in Itanagar. Similar protests were organized by the district students’ unions across the state, demanding that the government come out with an “immediate draft of an ordinance on the offspring issue.”

The AAPSU strongly condemned nodal department SJETA and the joint consultative committee (JCC) for what it termed “dilly-dallying tactics to draft an ordinance on the offspring issue.”

“AAPSU demands that a law should be enacted to take stringent action against those officers who issued scheduled tribe (ST) certificates to non-APSTs by illegal means,” said AAPSU president Hawa Bagang.

“If anyone raises doubt on an individual’s ST status, it should be verified and cancelled instantly if it is found that the ST certificate has been obtained fraudulently,” he added.

Bagang also urged the state government to strengthen the procedure of issuing ST certificates. He further said that “a law should be enacted on adoption of child, considering the legal provisions enshrined under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.”

“The law we are demanding to be enacted is for the greater interest of the future of our indigenous people,” he said.

“ST should be by birth, not through adoption. Whoever is giving ST certificates to adopted children is against the constitution,” Bagang said.

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The AAPSU has outright rejected the draft submitted earlier by the SJETA department, saying that the draft did not incorporate the points raised by the union.

“If SJETA department fails to come out with a draft by 8 October, the SJETA commissioner should resign on moral ground,” Bagang said.

“Even after four sittings that the AAPSU had with the JCC over the offspring issue, the SJETA has failed to come out with a preliminary draft. It reflects their insincerity over the issue and utter callousness. They demonstrated rigid unwillingness to come out with the draft proposal,” said AAPSU general secretary Tobom Dai.

He said that no further dilly-dallying by the SJETA department would be accepted.

“The JCC on the offspring issue has literally taken a ride on our understanding and patience, and any miscarriages after the 8 October meeting, the responsibility will solely lie on the shoulder of the state government and the nodal department SJETA,” he said, adding that “political will is required on the issue.”

Earlier, an 11-member joint consultative meeting was chaired by SJETA Minister Alo Libang on 8 September, during which it was resolved that the suggestions and recommendations of the members would be incorporated and placed before the committee in the next meeting of the SJETA department.

The SJETA department postponed the JCC meeting twice. One was supposed to be held on 29 September and the other one on 1 October. A third meeting is scheduled to be held on 8 October.



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