ST certificates to Yobins halted as govt violates constitutional norm

I was so glad that in 6 February 2015 the State Govt cleared our tribal identity by a Gazette. But that justice was shortlived. By January 2017 the Cabinet cancelled and the ADC stopped issuing certificates from March onward. Even after repeated appeal the govt turned deaf hears to our needs. What local govt we have? Here is now a release from the AP Times’ correspondent, Tongam Rina (24 Nov 2017).

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ITANAGAR, Nov 23: The issuance of Schedule Tribe (ST) certificates to the Yobin tribe has been halted since March 2017, thanks to a faulty notification issued on February 2015 by the state government.

The state cabinet, led by then Chief Minister Nabam Tuki had taken a decision to grant ST status to the Yobin tribe on 4 February, 2015, following which, the Department of Social Justice & Empowerment and Tribal Affairs, issued a notification two days later, proclaiming the tribe as Schedule Tribe of the state.

But the notification came under the scrutiny of the central government as it violated laid down provisions of the Indian constitution.

After the notification was issued, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, New Delhi wrote back to the Chief Secretary in April 2015 stating that notification of Yobin Tribe as Schedule Tribe is not in accordance with the provisions of Article 342 (2) of the Constitution of India and therefore, the notification may be withdrawn.

Two years later, The Pema Khandu-led Government made its first attempt to rectify the mistake of the earlier cabinet.

An order was issued on January 25, 2017 by the Department of Social Justice & Empowerment and Tribal Affairs, wherein it said that the “State cabinet in its meeting held on 4th January, 2017 had approved for cancellation of the Notification ( No. Secy(SW)/SC/St(IN-EX-99/Pt-II dated 06-02-2015) regarding the ‘Yobin Tribe’ as Scheduled Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. The Governor of Arunachal Pradesh is pleased to rescind/ withdraw/ cancel the Notification with immediate effect”.

The notification did not say anything else on the fate of the ST status of the community, according to documents accessed by this daily.

Instead, the cabinet decision in January has led to mass denial of ST certificates to the tribe since March this year, even though the centre has specifically said that responsibility for issuance and verification of scheduled tribe certificates rests with the state government.

While responding to a representation by Avia (Aphu) Ngwazah, General Secretary of the Yobin Tribe Fundamental Rights Forum on the issue, Uttam Kumar Kar, Under Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs on 28 June, 2015 had said that the notification issued by the Government of Arunachal Pradesh in 2015 was not in accordance with the provision of the Constitution of India, but issuance of the ST certificates rests with the state government.

The office of the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Miao in Changlang district in a response to this daily said that ST certificates are currently not being issued to the tribe.

While speaking to this daily, Ngwazah said that Yobins should not be deprived of the certificates as he demanded the state government to take up with the centre for early rectification of the faulty notification.

The Yobin Community has appealed to the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary to help rectify the mistake at the earliest as the community is facing acute difficulties in absence of ST certificates.

This is not the first time that the tribe has been struggling with their tribal identity.

Though they were recognized as APST in 1979, but soon the recognition was withdrawn. The tumultuous journey of the community, which is spread across Aguchi, Dawodi, Gandhigram (Shi-Di), Hazolo, Pritnagar, Maludi, Shidikhu, Sichoto, Mibodi and Ngwazakha villages in Vijoynagar circle (Known locally as Da-Wo-Di valley) as well as in Miao in Changlang district, continues in terms of their Arunachalee identity as well as total deprivation of basic facilities.

Even today, the entire Vijoynagar circle is not accessible by road. Though there is limited air connectivity, the service is weather dependent and villagers have to walk for days together to access basic facilities.

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Cement bag for Rs 8,000 in isolated Vijoynagar for IHHL

The Dawodi area remains a good and often fascinating news to share to the world. This news item from AP Times (November 19, 2017) is one such, as usual.

In this write, there is an advanced lame excuse by the PHE Department to have something to say on the set deadline.

We don’t need such words. We need active propaganda and actions on people who delay the construction of Miao-Vijoynagar Road.

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ITANAGAR, Nov 18: People living in Vijoynagar in Changlang district has to pay Rs 8,000 for one bag of cement, that too if it is available.

Vijoynagar, a sub-divisional town under Changlang district with just 1500 residents, has no proper surface communication. People have to walk for five days from the nearest thoroughfare in Miao to reach the town.

Though there is a weekly helicopter service for transporting supplies but that is largely subjected to weather condition.

“The Chakmas, who travel long distances on foot to transport cement, charge Rs 8,000 for one bag. A water closet pan comes for Rs 2,000,” Public Health Engineering department junior engineer Jumli Ado told PTI.

The PHE Department is undertaking construction of Individual Household Latrine (IHHL) in the town, a project partially funded by the Centre – Rs 10,800 from the central government and Rs 9,200 by the state for one IHHL.

“All materials are transported to Vijoynagar, at the India-China-Myanmar tri-junction, through Namdapha National Park by Chakmas. They charge Rs 8,000 per bag of cement (Rs 150 per kg),” Ado disclosed.

They carry the materials on their back and walk down 156 km for five days to reach the destination, Ado said, adding one could imagine the challenges this hilly state faces in achieving the open defecation free (ODF) status by December.

Ado, while taking part in Swachh Bharat Abhiyan – Gramin (SBA-gramin) awareness programme at Namphainong village of the district on November 4, had said despite numerous challenges IHHL project is moving at a fast pace.

State Civil Supply Minister Kamlung Mossang, who represents Miao assembly constituency, said the state government has approved a road construction project for the area.

Bordumsa village (headman) Shekhep and ODF consultant Nyabon Pongtey added that journey to Vijoynagar by foot is a herculean task. Development naturally moves at a snail’s speed in this part of the state, they said.

“Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju had announced in Itanagar in July 2014 a central government proposal to populate nearly 100 villages situated along the border. Though Arunachal shares international boundary of 1,680 km with Bhutan, China and Myanmar, the project has not seen the light of the day,” Shekhep lamented.

Development is still a mirage in this sensitive border state for lack of connectivity even after three decades of establishment. Many of the inhabited villages in far-flung areas are inaccessible and deprived of essential commodities.

The North Eastern Frontier Agency (NEFA), largest among seven NE states, was created in 1954. It became a union territory and was renamed Arunachal Pradesh on January 20, 1972 and finally statehood on February 20, 1987.

The Central Purchase Organization (CPO) with base at Mohanbari in Assam’s Dibrugarh district, now known as the public distribution system (PDS), was very effective in the 80s when essential items were airdropped in many remote areas.

With the PDS proving ineffective, today salt which costs Rs 20 per kg in state capital is about Rs 250 in many border areas, including Vijoynagar.

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An Unfortunate Situation at Shidi village

Yesterday a middle aged man died in Shidi village. About a month ago he had surgery for appendicitis and was recuperating. His son and daughter and relatives living at Miao were not suspecting something serious was happening to their father.

A friend told me this man passed away at about 10 am (Sunday, 22 Oct 2017). I went to see whether the family at Miao received the tragic news. To my surprise, they did not even hear he was sick! I felt not comfortable to break news and just said the father is really serious and encouraged them to enquire about the father.

About an hour later a family member called from their village from the only operating Satellite Phone. The news broke the sister and brother.

What has been frustrating is the sister and brother is not able to be present when the last rite is conducted for the father. Although, the distance from Miao to Shidi is 130 km, it takes four days on foot since no road has been constructed till date.

The PMGSY road foundation stone was laid in 2011 but no visible improvement is seen. The four days walk continues to take the same time and distance as in the 1960s. The Miao – Vijoynagar Road remains a fascinating to cover a story, nothing more.

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Admin cornered for issuing rampant birth certificates

This news release appeared at Eastern Sentinel (18th Aug 2017). I pick up two observations from this information. First, the administration is careless. Without even casual checking, affidavits were signed. Second, the Settlers are trying to create false “proofs” of their age. Whatever the be the motivation for making up their false swearing, only time will tell.

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ITANAGAR, Aug 18:The All Yobin Students Union in a memorandum submitted to Deputy Commissioner, Miao has expressed strong objection over the rampant issuance of Birth Certificates by district administration, based on false declaration of affidavits by individuals, who claim themselves to be ex-Assam Rifles settlers.

The Union disclosed that ex-Assam Rifles mostly comprising of non- indigenous people were given temporary settlement in Vijaynagar Circle by uprooting the tribal villages during Northeast Frontier Agency (NEFA) Period.

However, the union alleged that presently few have started to claim themselves to be born in the area prior to the settlement of local tribals and ownership of land.

Upset over inaction of concern Additional Deputy Commissioner towards the issue, the union questioned the ADC for allowing them to settle in the tribal areas violating the Bengal Frontier Regulation Act, 1873.

Terming such development as threat to existence of locals, the Union opined that thorough inquiry needs to be done to unearth the truth and bring it to light and demanded the DC to initiate probe into the matter.

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Autonomous Council: A Reflection

In recent years, the demand for Autonomous Councils gained momentum in Arunachal Pradesh such as Patkai Autonomous Development Council (PADC) and Mon Autonomous Development Council. Out of curiosity I attended in one of the PADC meetings at Circuit House, Miao. Lots of deliberations were happening. Then there is also many policies and agendas hidden in the form of Byelaws. For example no response for “Where will be the two Unreserved Seats?

I got interested as this will impact my life too. The following are my learning about Autonomous Councils.

  • Autonomous Councils are general called Autonomous Administration Divisions, given by Central Government with varying degrees of autonomy within the State Legislature.
  • Several Autonomous Councils are in India, mostly in the North East: nine in Assam, three in Meghalaya, three in Mizoram, two in Jammu & Kashmir, and one each in Tripura, West Bengal and Manipur. Whole state of Meghalaya is Autonomous Councils. Most of these councils are allotted along the ethnic lines.
  • Most of the establishment and functions are based on the sixth schedule article 244 (2) & Article 275(1) to the Constitution of India.
  • The council is given Executive, Judiciary, Legislative and financial powers (more on this from Raghav article).

ISSUES

Such councils have been created in those states which has Sixth Scheduled status. Whereas Arunachal Pradesh had not given that status (The State of Arunachal Pradesh Act 1986). Would then, the Central Government grant Autonomous Councils?

The demand by PADC is based on Article 371(A) which is in line with Nagaland Statehood Bill. A news release by AAPSU summarized as:

Reminding that the Article 371 (A) is a special provision granted to Nagaland as a partial fulfillment of the 1960 agreement that created the state in 1963, AAPSU expressed dismay at the demand made by the PADC for an ADC in line with the Nagaland Statehood Bill. “It is a serious matter which needs to ponder upon and cannot be just wished away. (North East Today)

The objection by the non-Naga tribes Singpho, Khampti and Yobin was on that same article (AP Times). Nothing else.

But for me having further development structure do not make difference. Someone said, Power Corrupts. Absolute power corrupt absolutely. Our area is popular for corruption. I do not see much hope. What we need is, better people, visionary people and loving people.

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Helpful links:

  • Autonomous administrative divisions of India (Wikipedia)
  • Powers of Autonomous Councils in Tribal Areas in North East India (Raghav Gupta)

Observations from Facebook Discussions on Gorkha of Arunachal Pradesh

Following the rally in Itanagar (24 June 2017) in support of Gorkhaland in Darjeeling by Gorkha unions of Arunachal Pradesh, several discussions are taking place on Voice of Arunachal Facebook page. The basic reasoning is: If Gorkhas could demand a separate land in West Bengal, what is the guarantee that it will not happen in Arunachal Pradesh in future?

One particular post was by a user named, Dr. Yami Lee, at the Voice of Arunachal published on 25 June 2017. Though not well refined in writing and organizing, the post received 567 Likes and 129 comments at the time of writing this article (4.30 pm 26 June). That could mean, she has touched a relevant topic and which Arunachal Pradesh would face soon. The post is 3 page long and messy to read. Following are few highlights from the post:

· Today they protest here for Gorkhaland in Darjeeling. Tomorrow they will cry for Gorkhaland in Arunachal Pradesh.

· Increasing population of Nepali and Gorkha unions in the State is serious threat.

· Then she explained the avenues for entry for Gorkha and other outsiders to the State, such as relaxed administration, local Inner Line Permit rackets etc.

Reactions to this post are diverse as expected. Two groups primarily seem to emerge to my observations.

One group thinks that such demand for separate Gorkha District/State will never occur in Arunachal Pradesh. They argue as long as the Inner Line Permit system and Panchasheel Act are in force, no outside community will ever have such privilege. Law provides protection.

But the other group that says it could happen takes example from West Bengal, the formation of Gorkha unions in Arunachal Pradesh, demand for Permanent Residential Certificate (PRC), gradual increase of Gorkha population in the State. Due to the development of these trends, they argue that laws can be amendment with majority demand which has already a trend setter in Tripura.

Personally, I see the Arunachal people are just starting to wake up now. Taking the case of Vijoynagar, there they have been provided land, given power to participate in Panchayati Raj (not privilege given elsewhere in the State), given trade license outside their settlements.

The Ex-Servicemen Settlers of Vijoynagar Circle came in as Settlers. Though these Assam Rifles’ pensioners are from multi-ethnic backgrounds, they are beginning to claim their identity as Gorkha.

Rest you decide.

Below is the post of Dr Yami Lee as it appeared.

MY DEAR CITIZNS PLEASE READ ALL

Today protest here for Darjeeling Gurkha Land, sure tomorrow they will protest for GURKA LAND IN ARUNACHAL,increasing nepalis population in state its seriuos threat for future,astonished they have been already form gurkha union in state, realy its dangerious alarm for future arunachalees,today we are facing here CHAKMA AND HAJONG issue but tomorrow we are going to face nepalis and bangladeshi then integration of nepalis, chakmas and bangladeshis will dreadful or nightmare threat for upcoming days,many arunachalis ladies intermarried with nepalis, bangladeshi or others, their abandont kids stay here and give local name and status so this sourse of increase nepalis or other populations which is going to imbalance the demographic future of local populations,here we don’t oppose to your marriage whatsoever you like but we oppose you to dwell here with your abandont kids or you have to go with husbands’ state or home .The issue of illegal immigrants in Arunachal pradesh is not new. This has been there since long time back. The influx of illegal immigrants had been time and again discussed in many fora. In all these fora, participants expressed their major fear that this influx of illegal immigrants would destroy their demography one day. And today, the reality is the survival of the very local people is under serious threat and these so-called illegal immigrants started indulging in all sort of heinous crimes. They had scant respect for the married couple even.

Sadly, this dangerous trend started spreading wantonly without much hindrance either from the locals or local administrations. And innocent citizens have been watching helplessly to all these unwanted developments over the years. The civil societies and local administrations were caught napping. Then hurriedly, whenever any heinous crime was committed by these so-called illegal immigrants, we would wake up and rush to the issue without much strategy only to find that most of these people possessed Inner Line Permits (ILPs). Unfortunately, after some time, the heat would fast subside till such time a new heinous crime was committed by these illegal immigrants.

But the complication came up when we started checking ILP defaulters among the nepali or others illegal immigrants communities. Interestingly, most of them again have possessed ILPs issued by the local administrations. But those of ILP defaulters or so-called illegal immigrants would not be found in towns and cities. They would smartly come to towns and cities to commit crimes and return to outskirts of towns and cities or even interior nearby villages to avoid any police arrest. It is also wondering whether police had really checked about the ILP status of any of such non-locals when they made any arrest of these non-local criminals.

The problem here becomes more compounded as these so-called illegal immigrants possessed domicile certificates issued by the Assam’s local administrations. And when these people of doubtful integrity have produced all the documents required, the local administrations here in Arunachal Pradesh have absolutely no way to object to their ILP applications. Besides they could easily impersonate as Indian nepali as they could fluently speak Hindis.

Yet, the grey area, which has literally become a threat to the state, is the administration without properly scrutinizing the documents of these people of doubtful integrity simply issued ILPs to them. Worse, they indulged in issuance of Temporary Permits (TP) wantonly to many of such people of doubtful integrity.

Another shocking trend is there are lots of ILP racketeers going on in the State. This has largely added to the already fragile situation in the state. It will be certainly wrong to say that all the criminal activities are committed by the non-local but it is largely true that majority of the crimes are committed by the non-arunachalees. While discussing about the illegal immigrants, we also should not forget that there are thousands of other non-locals of other origins—like Bhutias and Tibetans. These people have largely succeeded in business ventures in the state. At least in itanagar, they have done exceedingly well in business sectors. The good thing of these people is they don’t indulge in crimes.

Whenever Illegal Bangladesh Immigrants (IBI) issue is stressed, the larger context of understanding NE in general becomes unavoidable as the issue is interlinked. The threat has taken an alarming proportion in the North East (NE) India like in Tripura where indigenous Tripuris are minority in their own land and in Assam around 40 lakh bangladeshi immigrants are deeply entrenched, acting as vote bank commanding undue influence in 40 of the 126 constituencies & no party can come to power without appeasing them. This continuous influx of bangladeshi to NE through the porous border has become a serious threat coupled with apathy of central govt. and the helplessness & insensitivity of the state govt. Though NE in itself is under developed and many of its educated youth migrates to mainland cities for jobs what could be the push and the pull factor behind this trend? The reasons can be;

1. Over population in Bangladesh: Bangladesh has one of the world highest densities of population with 1142 person per sq.km (2011 census). The Malthusian nightmare of land unable to sustain the population is happening bane with corruption and ill- governance.

2. Huge availability of fertile land in NE mainly Assam: The land hungry immigrants in need of more lebensraum sneak into sparsely populated but fertile NE mainly Assam & settled there in large number in connivance with corrupt govt. Officials.

3. The need for cheap labour.

The immigrants in Arunachal Pradesh especially from Bihar and UP has been there for a long time and threat perceived was high until the huge unbridled influxes of bangladeshi immigrants who seem to indulge in all the wanton crimes of thief, murder, bottle legging, drug peddling, raped & even hobnobbing with underground elements. Bangladeshi immigrants has come into sharp focus once again since the gang rape of a married woman in states by miyas & the communal spurt in the district of Dubri and kokrajar in Assam followed by unprecedented exodus of North Easterners from mainland India due to threat and reprisal. This is indeed a sign that a time is fast approaching when we will be targeted outside but have no respite at home either.

Immigration is a major concern especially in Itanagar, pasighat, Roing,Chanlang Tirap etc where ILP is not in promulgation and hence the free flow of illegal immigrants, i.e, the miyas or nepali. ‘They have intermarried with the locals… known as semiyas or semi-nepalis or others (hybrid of nonarunachalis) and now their number varies around 80,000 to 100,000 foreboding a major threat to Arunachal demography and a possible source of future tension.. Many might have felt the danger pulse but are too helpless, too selfish or just too lazy to do anything. The insensitivity of the govt. to the appalling abnegation have detected & deported as pittance as illegal immigrants so far. Today occasional border tension especially in Assam-Arunachal border has been caused due to illegal immigrants.

Itanagar has some 4000 lacs non-local shops and the immigrant makes half the population of Itanagar controlling the economic nerve of the state. This amounts to severe economic drain as they brings back no remuneration as no single paisa in invested in the state from the profit it gains. But until this trend is reversed or optimized to a reasonable proportion local economy will be poor as ever. On the other hand there is poverty and unemployment of the locals who are more indulgent and indolent and do need thorough crash course in the art of good business nature.

One decade hereon if this trend goes unchecked, the red line will also be multiplied and so is the helplessness because immigration is not going to stop or stabilize but would only get worse because the push factor is too strong. Even now if we find it difficult, how much more it will be in the near future or when they managed to grab some power as is most likely. This kind of problem is at best tackled at its nascent stage because when it becomes acute, it is already late. Also it would be foolishness if we failed to learn a lesson or two from Assam and Tripura. but here even our very existence is at threat. No wonder all those political berating will soon be relegated into the background as the immigration issue takes the forefront. There is no escape route, hence, the sooner the better strong measure is taken to safeguard our land and culture from occupation and contamination because we have nowhere else to go except this small god given land.

Whether it is the apprehension of repercussion outside the state or just the insensitiveness of the state govt. making an excuse for its negligence, there is no substitute to this problem rather than outright strong legal measure roping in civil societies on a war footing.Taking the example of Tripura & Manipur where 10% of the state total areas control the other 90% from the Agartala and Imphal valley respectively, similar things can happen in Arunachal Pradesh too with Itanagar and Pasighat.I hope every citizns of Arunachal will comprehend the issue or united and fight together against the invasions ,only our unity will provide our strength,some soul might be hurt but the truth is bitter, time has arrived for searching some souls where the thing is going so here I end up my writing any disappoint I apolz or any grammar I accept.

By Dr. B. Yami

The Villages in Vijoynagar Circle According to Census 2011

VILLAGES

14 Villages Enlisted according to Census 2011. In the table below,

· Village no 1 to 4 are exclusive Lisu villages

· Village no 5 have mixed population. The Settlers illegally occupied in Vijoynagar HQ.

· Village no 6 to 14 are allotted to Settlers.

No Villages Population
1. Dawodi 184
2. Hazolo 182
3. Gandhigram Bl.I & II 1,754
4. Sidikuh 212
5. Vijoynagar H.Q. 240
6. Buddhamandir 106
7. Chidudi 179
8. Daragaon 322
9. Gaherigaon 57
10. Mazgaon 239
11. Phaparbari 317
12. Ramnagar 138
13. Topihill 242
14. Twohut 266

QUESTIONS

· Where are the other Lisu villages? Such as Badadi, Meludi, Sichoto, Yacheley, Yachayzolo, Josadi, Nibodi, Lominayi, Ngwazakha, Aguchi and Nagudi are not in picture. See some of the locations of the villages on map.

· In 2014, the Census Authorities registered Nibodi, Ngwazakha and Aguchi villages under Miao Block, clubbed within “Deban Forest Camp”. Objections were raised to the DC Chanchal Yadav by the ZPM and ASM. They promised rectifications but in actual Census Data, they were not reflected. What happened? The Deban Forest Camp where there are no residents registered 348 people, out of which 342 were Scheduled Tribe (Census 2011). This is deliberate actions to irritate our people.

Bridge washed away before inauguration

No action yet on this highlight from the news released on the frontpage of AP Times, 7 September 2016. What the contractors did was once again removed the blockade. No better bridge is being built. What a stubborn government we have in this part of the country.

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Photo by Aphu A. Ngwazah

ITANAGAR, Sep 6: One end of the RCC Bridge on Pagla Nallah at M Pen-1 on Miao-Vijoynagar road has been completely washed away leaving the bridge stranded on one side of the nallah.
This long awaited bridge at M’Pen-I, 6 miles off Miao town, was opened for light vehicles few months ago giving much to the relief of the users of the road, but before its formal inauguration.
However, the bridge is no more usable. It is stuffed with filth and debris.
This small Nallah swells violently when it rains. Many people have lost bicycles, loads of articles to this river while crossing it. A young girl of 7th Mile was also reportedly drowned in the river.
Now, crossing the Nallah has become a challenging task again. Countless people had to stop their journey at the Nallah.
The 157 km road serves as lifeline for the people of remote Vijoynagar in Changlang district.

Four dead, six injured as lightning strikes Gandhigram

This incident shocked all our people. In fact this felt for the whole State by highlighting in the front page (AP Times, 6 June 2017). Those succumbed to death and those injured are all familiar and close relatives. Great loss to all of us.

A quick relief was organized by concerned authorities and evacuated the injured early next day, landing at Gandhigram, ignoring formalities of landing ground.

As far as I recount, there was one such incident some years ago when Bolakhi was struck on a sunny day while ploughing his fields.

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[ Indrajit Tingwa ]

MIAO, Jun 5: Four persons were reportedly killed when a lightning struck following a thunderstorm while working at a farm in Gandhigram in Vijoynagar circle on Monday at around 11 AM.

Reportedly, the incident occurred when the people were gathered to extend help in a fellow villager’s farm.

At least six other persons, including students are said to have received injuries and are in critical requirement of medical attention. The administration, till the filing of this report has been making fervent arrangements to evacuate the injured.

The dead have been identified as Jalina Yobin (12), Chanisa Yobin (14), Chathaye Yobin (13) and Sholida Yobin (38).

Among the injured are four women, one man and an eight year old boy.

Air service is the only option to carry out immediate evacuations from a place like Gandhigram, which takes at least four to five days of trekking to cover a distance of over 100 kilometre to reach the nearest town of Miao. Even if a helicopter is pressed into service, the nearest helipad is about 25 kilometres from Gandhigram, and the administration is making arrangements to make a temporary landing ground.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu in a late night message said chopper service will be made available on 6th June to Vijoynagar to evacuate the injured persons. He directed the district administration to immediately provide all possible assistance to the victims.

Pema, while expressing deep sorrow over the unfortunate incident has announced immediate release of ex-gratia to the next of kin according to the laid down norms.

While appealing to the people to be cautious during monsoon which creates havoc every year and claims precious lives, the Chief Minister advised all to be in preparedness to tackle such natural calamity.

Yobins and their tryst with APST

The following article at the AP Times Readers’ Forum (30 May 2017) is in response to the AAPSU’s discussion (28 May) of “ST Status of the Yobins/Lisus” in the context of Refugees and Settlers.

The Government of AP unjustly committed injustice against the Yobins once again.

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Dear Editor,

We want to ask everybody never again to discuss Indigenous Yobin issue in the category of Refugees or Settlers. It is a pain to read Yobin tagged in such situation time and again. Please get these facts straights:

1. Did you know that Yobin people have never migrated into India? Yobins have been aborigines of Dawodi (Vijoynagar) area long before the area was annexed into NEFA? And are you aware that the international boundary around Vijoynagar was finalized with Burma only in 1972? And Yobin tribe played a crucial role then which has been recorded.

2. Did you know that it was only on May 7th 1961, Lisu Sidi Village was re-named as Gandhigram and the flag of India was unfurled for the first time in Gandhigram?

3. Are you aware that YOBIN Scheduled Tribe is fully covered under Presidential Order 1956, -“Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes Lists (Modification) Order, 1956”. Sc III, Part-II, 2. And such has been the interpretation by the Law Ministry, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, Office of the Registrar Genral of India, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

4. You may not be aware that while there are 106 tribes in AP, only 16 names are in the Notified ST List of Arunachal Pradesh! But the State Legislature rightfully extends ST benefits to all the indigenous tribes of the State. Yobin is gazetted as a Scheduled Tribe.

There are a lot more evidences available. You could ask all the questions you want at yobinsata@rediffmail.com.

Of course the Yobin ST Notification was practically withdrawn since March 2017. And this was done for there was a Procedural Error. But in the same letter that came from MTA / Ministry of Tribal Affairs, the Ministry clearly wrote that ” But the People is Scheduled Tribe”. And the Ministry has asked Govt of Arunachal to send a Comprehensive ST List of AP. And this work is under process. Ref: MTA LETTER NO 16014/9/2015-C & LM-1. Dated 08/03/2016. New Delhi.

So, Yobin is never ever demanding APST! We already are. We are just claiming what is already ours constitutionally. And the matter is under procedural correction. That is all.

Once again, let us tell you, if you are questioning Yobin’s Tribal Arunachal Identity, you are either exhibiting ignorance or going against the Presidential Order. It is true that Yobin Tribe has been sidelined, marginalized, maligned, and misrepresented for over 40 years now! The tribe is heavily afflicted for reasons not told to the tribe, yet the tribe is not destroyed. The community is very much alive and well. God has not forsaken the community.

So, all good hearted fellow Arunachalees are requested to champion Yobin’s genuine cause. We shall overcome someday!

Yours,

Aphu A Ngwazah.

Gandhigram