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Of course the Yobin ST Notification was practically withdrawn since March 2017.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

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