CBOs & student unions urge govt to bring Arunachal Pradesh under ambit of Sixth Schedule


Itanagar: Several community-based organizations (CBOs) and student unions in Arunachal Prdesh urged the government to bring the entire state under the ambit of the Sixth Schedule.

The organizations also said that a high-level expert committee be formed to look into the demand for the Sixth Schedule.

The demands from the CBOs came during a consultative meeting held at the Dorjee Khandu State Convention Centre here, which was chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein.

The meeting was called to discuss and come out with a possible solution to the demand for creating Mon Autonomous Region (MAR) comprising Tawang and West Kameng districts and Patkai Autonomous Council (PAC) with Tirap Changlang and Longding districts.

Issues related to constitutional safeguards for the indigenous people of the state were also discussed in the meeting.

Following opposition from several quarters to the Mon Autonomous Region Demand Committee (MARDC) appeal for a tripartite talk to be initiated with the state and central government in regards to the creation of MAR, Chief Minister Pema Khandu had on August 5 proposed for a discussion to be held on the issue.

A consultative committee for the purpose was constituted with Mein as the chairman and Home Minister Bamang Felix, Health Minister Alo Libang, Industry Minister Tumke Bagra, Sports Minister Mama Natung, Agriculture Minister Tage Taki, Education Minister Taba Tedir, and Transport Minister Nakap Nalo as members besides Home Commissioner Kaling Tayeng as the Member Secretary.

The meeting witnessed several organizations opposing the demand for creation of autonomous councils while some supported the development.

Arunachal Indigenous Tribes Forum (AITF) was of the view that the demand for autonomous councils has no justifications and hence the state government should instead focus on working out modalities to bring the entire state under the ambit of the 6th Schedule or Article 371 (A) of the constitution.

The All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) also opposed the demand of autonomous councils and said that it would never allow the state government to do so.

“In spite of discussing for providing autonomy to districts like, Bomdila, Tawang (MAR) and Tirap, Changlang and Longding (PAC), the government should rather provide autonomy to the people living in far flung areas like, Tali, Nacho etc,” AAPSU president Hawa Bagang said.

Supporting the demand for PAC, the Wancho Council said that, though the Tirap, Changlang and Longding region has DoTCL but the fund which is provided under the department by the central government is lapsable.

The Nocte Chief Council and Tutsa Council supported the demand of PAC saying that the state government should also try to include the state under 6th schedule of Indian constitution.

The Mishmi Welfare Society, Kamba Welfare Society, Adi Bane Kebang, Tagin Welfare Society and Tanwn Sopung Dopung requested the cabinet ministers and other legislators to discuss the matter during the ensuing assembly session.

Meanwhile, the entire community based organization of Tawang and West Kameng district supporting the demand of MAC said that the people of the state should support their demand rather than oppose it.

The All Nyishi Students Union (ANSU) in a representation made it clear that the union would not support the demand on MAC and PAC.

Earlier, Additional advocate general Kardak Ete highlighted the laws relating to safeguarding Arunachal Pradesh specifically on BEFR Act 1873 and Chin Hill Regulations 1896.

He also explained the provisions of the 6th schedule of Indian constitution.

The reports and suggestions made in Wednesdays meeting would be submitted to the government. PTI