Whatever the Yobin people are demanding, they are all asking government to return what is due them. Nothing else. Take all the major cases we have tackled.
- Indian Citizenship: The tribe that voted during the 6th Lok Sabha election in 1977 suddenly found their names removed from the electoral rolls in 1980 Lok Sabha Election. Our demand was: Restore our Indian Citizenship. And it was restored in 1994 after 14 years.
- Scheduled Tribe Status: Even after the restoration of Citizenship, the govt did not include us in ST list. Again the community by virtue of The Presidential Order 1950 was and is the Scheduled Tribe of AP and even enjoyed its previleges were deprived after 1980. Our demand was: Restore our ST status. The govt finally granted in 2015 only to cancel in 2017. Finally ours was restored in 8 Dec 2018.
- PRC: The govt, including our Hon’ble Minister was keen to grant PRC to settlers of Vijoynagar. We maintain they should not be granted. Our demand was: Do not grant PRC to Settlers because the land belongs to us. We need the land back. With the whole hearted movement by the people of Arunachal Pradesh, this PRC demand came to an end in February 2019. PRC became a “dead subject” for the State.
- Panchayati Raj to Settlers: Panchayati Raj is meant only for indigenous communities in Arunachal Pradesh. But govt had extended to Settlers. Our demand is: Remove PRI from Ex-Assam Rifles Settlers of Vijoynagar. We contend the PRI is only given to Yobins in Vijoynagar Circle. Return to Yobins what is duly due to them. That’s it because Article 243D does not allow their participation.
- Land Lease to Settlers: Settlers had lived in Vijoynagar for over 50 years, with alloted land for 30 years that will expire by 2020. Our demand: Do not renew the land lease. We need the land back. Renting over 50 years is a long time. Its time we get it back.
- Miao-Vijoynagar Road: Survey began in 1966 and made a maiden trip by the then Lt Governor KAA Raja in 1975. Since then it is abandoned. Our demand: Restore this road so that it is motorable again. The two MLAs we have voted changed nothing at all. Only bureaucrates added some contribution. First the Lt Governor, then at the efforts of Dr. SB Deepak (DC Changlang) to the Governor the road made through once in 2011, and now the latest by Governor Dr. BD Mishra (Rtd).
- EAC/Circle Officer: Till 2014, we have Circle Officers (CO) atleast randomly. But since then all subsequent COs made stations at Miao, 157km off their office, starting with S.Roy, AJ Lungphi, M.Bhatt, Gongo and AJ Lungphi. Since elevating CO to EAC office in 2018, not one officer stationed in Vijoynagar. Our Demand: Start to operate EAC/CO office from Vijoynagar, not from Miao. But this repeated demand made to ADC Miao, DC Changlang, Local Minister, even to Home Minister, goes unheeded. A day will come when we may be forced to take drastic steps.
- PCO: The satelite based phone (DPST) by BSNL was a useful communication tool for almost a decade until recently. After abrubtly ending its service, we are back to zero again. Our demand: Restore phone network.
- Namdapha: This will be another story that ask back from govt. The famous National Park that demarcated unilaterally without the consent of its people. That is undemocratic and deserves to be challenged. Demand not began formally but we will take up some day.
We will have many more demands that really ask the government back, what has been taken away from us. All the struggles we have are all redeeming what was taken away from us. Leave all what may be added to once already existed.
Perhaps it will take another 10 years just to keep asking to return because almost nothing was left at our disposal.
Hope, though it takes time, we will be patient but ultimately overcome.