Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy whimsical: Arunachal Cong chief

Cows walk along the main road in the Miao settlement, Arunachal Pradesh, India.

Cows walk along the main road in the Miao settlement, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Photographer unknown

Outlook

ITANAGAR, India, 8 September 2017

The “whimsical” Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy, 2014, will create a new social disorder in Arunachal Pradesh if implemented, state Congress president Takam Sanjoy has said.

Sanjoy said Arunachal Pradesh has been facing a crisis with the Chakma-Hajong refugees for decades in spite of having constitutional safeguards, and implementation of the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy would open another flood gate in the state.

“This predominately tribal state, protected by constitutional safeguards like Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873, and Chin Hills Regulation 1896, cannot be equated with Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, New Delhi. Uttarakhand, which have decided to adopt the policy,” he said.

Not all policies are mandatory for the state, the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) chief told reporters here.

There have been growing protests in Arunachal Pradesh against the recent decision by its Cabinet to implement the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy, 2014.

Sanjoy said the national rehabilitation policy for the Tibetan refugees was prepared by the Centre without consulting any state government.

Terming the policy adoption as “whimsical”, he said, if implemented it would create a new social disorder as there are already Tibetan settlements at Tenjing Gaon, Tezu and Miao in West Kameng, Lohit and Changlang districts, respectively.

The guideline of the policy states that Tibetans may be allowed to undertake any economic activity and to that extent, relevant papers/trade license/permit may be issued to them, and also permitted to take jobs in any field for which they are professionally qualified.

“When the lease period expires, the state government through a policy decision can extend lease further. But, there is no question of allowing new settlement in any part of the state as available cultivable lands are limited even for its growing indigenous population,” Sanjoy said.

He said issues relating to the Chakma-Hajong refugees, Tibetans, or Bangladeshis should be viewed seriously, as the Himalayan state has turned into a “most volatile hotspot of South East Asia.”

“Any trading license should not be granted to them [Tibetans], except the way other Indians are given on power of attorney basis on humanitarian grounds,” said Sanjoy, a former Lok Sabha member


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