Offspring issue: JCC to forward AAPSU, AITF riders to cabinet

Itanagar: The joint consultative committee (JCC) formed by the Arunachal Pradesh government on the “offspring” issue has assured to forward recommendations of the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU), Arunachal Indigenous Tribes Forum (AITF) and other members of the committee to the state cabinet for its approval.

This was on Saturday informed by AAPSU general secretary Tobom Dai who said that the assurance was given by Social Justice & Empowerment & Tribal Affairs (SJETA) minister Alo Libang after the final meeting of the JCC on Friday.

Libang is also the chairman of the committee while AAPSU, AITF and the Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Women (APSCW) are its members.

“We are hopeful that this long-pending offspring issue will finally be solved and a Bill in this regard will also be tabled in the next assembly session as assured by chief minister Pema Khandu. We must understand that the offspring issue is not just a concern of the AAPSU but also of the entire indigenous population of the state,” Dai said on Saturday.

The AAPSU has since long demanded a permanent solution to the matter of the offspring of an Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribe (APST) woman and a non-APST man enjoying ST benefits in the state.

Dai said, one among many other the key recommendations made by the union to JCC is that the state has to come up with a functioning law to check the offspring of an APST woman married to a non-APST father fraudulently availing rights in the name of APST.

“There are several cases of an offspring of an APST woman and a non-APST man enjoying ST benefits in the state. We even have many non-APST people (who have obtained ST certificates) working at the state civil secretariat. This is a dangerous trend that will pose a great threat to the tribal society in the future,” he said.

The AAPSU leader also clarified that the union is not targeting an individual when it comes to the offspring issue.

“There are existing laws in the state which give the administrative officers enough power to cancel the ST certificates which have been obtained through fraudulent means. Unfortunately, the same is not being implemented properly so we want the same to be strengthened,” Dai 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.

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