Students oppose councils' autonomy - Move may cause rift among communities, says AAPSU
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- Published 2.11.08
Itanagar, Nov. 2: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) has opposed the clamour for autonomy by two demand committees saying it would engineer a split among various communities in the ethnically sensitive state.
The apex students’ union made its stand clear on the issue of autonomy for the creation of two autonomous councils — Mon Autonomous Council comprising Tawang and West Kameng districts, known as Mon region and another, the Patkai Autonomous Council, comprising Tirap and Changlang districts, known as Patkai region.
The publicity secretary of AAPSU, Tobom Dai, termed the autonomy demand as “divisive” in nature and a threat to the peaceful existence of tribal communities in the state, which shares an international border with China and Myanmar.
“We staunchly oppose the clamour for autonomy from a section of tribal communities in the name of autonomous councils by some politicians and leaders, who seem to be guided with the sole intention of drawing political mileage without any justified reason. Our war is against the divisive forces, which are bent on creating a schism in society in the name of autonomy. Our association appeals to politicians to abstain from demanding autonomy in an ethnically sensitive state like Arunachal Pradesh, which is already facing a threat from external aggressors,” Dai said.
He said creating an autonomous council for such sensitive areas of the state like Tirap and Changlang, which share their border with Nagaland and Myanmar, and Tawang and West Kameng districts, bordering China and Bhutan, could spell danger for the state as it would encourage the “external aggressors.”
The students’ body also decided to take out a procession from Akashdweep Market Complex to Raj Bhavan tomorrow to register its protest against the demand.
The Mon Autonomous Region Demand Committee and Patkai Autonomous Region Demand Committee, headed by Lumla legislator T.G. Rinpoche, and Speaker Setong Sena respectively, have been spearheading their movement for autonomy for West Kameng and Tawang districts and Tirap and Changlang districts.
Both the leaders, who along with supporters had visited the national capital to press for their demands, got positive signals from the Centre and even called off their proposed dharna in Delhi.
Union minister and in-charge of party affairs in Arunachal Pradesh, Prithviraj Chavan, who assured the leaders that the Centre would look into the feasibility of the proposal, is expected to visit the state soon.
AAPSU termed it a “sad development in the history of the state” and urged the leaders to inculcate a futuristic vision to sustain the unity and diversity of the state.
“The political leaders have to take the state in the right direction rather than divide and isolate it with promises of autonomy,” the union said.
The Mon Autonomous Region Demand Committee chairman, T.G. Rinpoche, has been demanding the Centre to act on a resolution passed by the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly recommending the creation of Mon Autonomous Council comprising West Kameng and Tawang districts bordering China, under Sixth Schedule.
The Assembly passed a resolution in February 2004 recommending creation of two autonomous councils — Mon and Patkai. Rinpoche alleged that though the state government submitted clarifications and the justification for creation of the councils, there had been no response from the Centre.