Tibetans in Arunachal continue to feel wrath of locals

Video grab image of students of SUMAA staging a protest against Tibetans in Bomdila, India, on 16 July 2018.

Video grab image of students of SUMAA staging a protest against Tibetans in Bomdila, India, on 16 July 2018. YouTube

Tibet Sun Online News

ON THE WEB, 21 July 2018

Following persistent protests by a student group asking Tibetans to leave, and others shutting Tibetans out from their businesses, in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh in India, another group has now demanded that Tibetans be verified whether they are refugees or living illegally as locals.

The Students’ United Movement of All Arunachal (SUMAA) has been protesting since last year. On 16 July they held a protest, shouting slogans such as “Go back, go back, Tibetan go back”. They have demanded the State and the Central Governments of India to immediately roll back the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy 2014, which provides certain welfare schemes to the Tibetans.

Videos showed students of the group vandalising Tibetan shops and tearing down their sign boards, while police looked on but taking no action against them.

SUMAA has also demanded the cancellation of the Scheduled Tribe (ST) certificates issued illegally to Tibetan refugees, surrender of trading licenses obtained by Tibetan refugees, a written undertaking from the Central Tibetan Administration not to claim Indian citizenship, and deportation of Tibetans to the demarcated camps allotted to them from the places where they are operating businesses in other parts of the state such as the capital Itanagar.

Another group called All West Kameng District Students’ Union (AWKDSU) has stated that their Union is not against Tibetans being allotted land for settlement in the state per se, but are demanding the state government to verify whether Tibetans are taking double benefits as a member of a Scheduled Tribe of the state as well as that of a Tibetan refugee.

The Union claimed that out of 123 Tibetan refugees settled in West Kameng, 14 are suspected of using both ST and refugee status.

Meanwhile, the local community leaders have condemned SUMAA’s attitude towards Tibetans and pledged to thwart any undemocratic acts by the group.

The former abbot of Tawang Monastery, a local Monpa, has also called on SUMAA to stop the protests, and called on the people to come together to plan for legal action against SUMAA in case of their failure to comply with their requests.

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