Draft on non-APST offspring: Will no longer tolerate delay, says AAPSU

Itanagar: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) on Monday said that it would no longer tolerate further delay in publishing the draft in the matter of “the offspring of an Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe (APST) mother and non-APST father enjoying ST benefits in the state.”

The AAPSU which has been demanding a “permanent solution” in the matter since long said “the inordinate delay in publishing the basic draft proposal, even after the lapse of a year and half and after several sittings and verbal pleadings amply reflect the non-serious attitude of the department concerned.”

After relentless persuasion, the state government had finally relented to constitute an all-party high power committee on the offspring issue. The first meeting of the committee was convened on February 19 last year which was followed by a second sitting on June 29, the union said.

The committee formed under the chairmanship of Social Justice & Empowerment & Tribal Affairs (SJETA) minister Alo Libang and secretary Niharika Rai as member secretary included members from the union, Arunachal Indigenous Tribes Forum (AITF) and Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Women (APSCW).

The AAPSU further said the lack of any functioning law to check the offspring of an APST women married to a non-APST father fraudulently availing rights in the name of APST is a dangerous menace that pose a great threat to the tribal society.

“No further lingering will be tolerated by the union,” it said.

According to the AAPSU, certain sections of non-local businessmen and individuals, after marrying local women, purchase land and other movable/immovable assets in their wives’ names. The wives also never adopt their husband’s surname.

Earlier on the day, a delegation of the union led by its president Hawa Bagang and general secretary Tobom Dai met minister Libang at his office here to discuss the matter.

All Nyishi Students Union (ANSU) general secretary Gora Rikam also accompanied the team.

Rikam stated that the ANSU has taken cognizance of the offspring issue and fosters early tabling of the Bill in this regard in the state assembly.

“The ANSU strongly supports the demand of the apex students’ organization (AAPSU) in the interest of the indigenous people and condemns the department for the intentional delay,” Rikam said.

Meanwhile, the AAPSU said that Libang has assured to expedite the matter as soon as the SJETA secretary is back in town.

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