Objections for Panchayat Participation of Settlers in Vijoynagar

Here is a voice against one of the injustices prevalent in Vijoynagar Circle with many more to speak out. Last year the request to the administration not to further enroll the Settlers went deaf ears (appeared in AP Times, “Stop enrolment of non-APST in PR system”). Following are news releases of the same matter in three Arunachal dailies. The article appeared in front page of Dawnlit Post.

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‘Disallow participation of non-locals in Panchayati Raj system’

Source: AP Times, 21 March 2018

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ITANAGAR, Mar 20: Claiming that retired non-local Assam Rifles’ personnel have been allowed to participate in the Panchayati Raj Institution in Vijoynagar circle under Changlang district, the All Yobin Students’ Union (AYSU) has appealed to the state government to disallow their participation in the Panchayati Raj system.

In a representation to the chief minister on Tuesday, the AYSU has stated that permitting non-local settlers to engage in the local self-government is unfair to the locals and goes against the spirit and intention of the panchayat laws.

The union claimed that after its creation as an administrative headquarters in 1962, the Vijoynagar circle witnessed forced settlement of 200 retired army personnel and families in the already Yobin inhabited villages.

“Our Yobin tribe has already been facing a lot of marginalization issues. The circle is without roads. We suffer from multiple problems and now our community is forced to “compete” with a group of settlers in the panchayat system,” the union added.

It has further appealed to the state government to fulfill its promise to ensure early rectification of its earlier notification as per which the Scheduled Tribe status to the Yobin tribe was cancelled.

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UNION SEEKS CORRECTION OF SETTLEMENT POLICY

Source: Eastern Sentinel, 21 March 2018

ITANAGAR, Mar 21: Claiming that state government under its land settlement policy has allegedly permitted retired non-local Assam Rifles’ personnel to participate in the Panchayati Raj Institution in Vijoynagar circle under Changlang district, the All Yobin Students’ Union (AYSU) on Wednesday has appealed Chief Minister to correct the error in the policy and disallow their participation.

Asserting that Panchayati Raj system was introduced basically for empowerment of local populace, however AYSU has stated that allowing non-locals to engage in the local self-government is not only unfair against locals of the area, but also goes against the spirit and intention of the panchayat laws.

Claiming that the Yobin tribe have been facing a lot of marginalization issues till today, it alleged that since after declaring as an administrative headquarters in 1962, the condition of Vijoynagar remains as it was earlier without any road connectivity and progress.

“Our people are already suffering from multiple problems and on top of it the government allegedly allowed 200 retired army personnel and families to settle in our villages which resulted in forceful eviction of our people from their ancestral lands,” it added.

It also alleged that government policy on land settlement under its 4th plan intended to resettle some retired army personnel and Assam rifles ex-serviceman in available vacant land in the state. However the union claimed that settlement procedure did not take place as per the plan and instead locals were evicted from their ancestral villages to make place for settlers from outside.

Also referring to government order dated February 6 2015 in which Yobin were given ST status, but allegedly withdrawn after two years, the union while reminding the government of its promise to rectify their decision has stated that one year has passed and no action has been taken in this regard.

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Yobins demand action against ‘settlers’

Source: The Dawnlit Post, 22 March 2018

ITANAGAR, Mar 21: Members of the Yobin community, who once officially held Scheduled Tribe status, are demanding that retired Indian security personnel and their families who were settled by the central government earlier should not be permitted to participate in the Panchayat Raj Institutes.

Yobins, better known as Lisus in China and Myanmar where a large number of their community members have originally resided for centuries, were first given official recognition as Arunachal Pradesh STs in 1979 but was revoked. Years later, in 2015, the state government under then-chief minister Nabam Tuki had issued a notification once again giving them APST recognition. However, just days later the Centre’s ministry of tribal affairs wrote to the chief secretary stating that the state government’s notification violated Article 342 (2) of the Constitution which states that such notifications should not be in contravention to Part XVII Official Language Chapter I Language of the Union.

Now, the Yobins are demanding that only should their APST status be restored but also that settlers from outside the state should not be allowed to contest in panchayat elections.

The All Yobin Students’ Union (AYSU) today wrote to the chief minister stating that a few years after the establishment of Vijoynagar circle in Changlang district in 1962, the Centre had “forced” the settlement of 200 retired Assam Rifles personnel and families in “Yobin-inhabited villages”.

It said that the “settlement did not take place in vacant lands” and that the Centre’s plan “removed the Yobins from their ancestral villages”.

The AYSU said that the idea of “settlers permitted to live for a limited period are allowed to engage in local self-government” is a “very strange application” and one that “goes against the spirit and intention of the panchayat laws”. It said that the participation of the ‘settlers’ and their families in panchayat election is an injustice and illegal.

Stating that the Yobin already face several problems such as lack of road communication in the 11 villages that they primarily reside, the union said that the government should “lighten our load” as the community is “forced to compete with a group of settlers”.

It also appealed to the state government to rectify the 2015 notification so that they are once-again recognised as APSTs.

Currently, ST certificates are not issued to members of the community.

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