The All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) has urged the state government to “take seriously” the issue related to the conferment of Panchayati rights to non-Arunachalees in the state.
Expressing anguish over the recent incident of violence and mayhem at Vijaynagar in Changlang district, the AAPSU said “the state government is majorly responsible for the escalation of the problem in the area as it was not being reciprocative to the sentiments of the Yobin community.”
“There is a need for self-retrospection and soul searching on the part of the authorities as to why the members of the Yobin community were compelled to take such extreme measures,” the AAPSU said.
The students’ union further said the Yobin community has been agitating and resorting to peaceful democratic protests against the inclusion of settlers and non-Arunachalees under the Panchayati Raj for many years.
As Panchayat Raj comes under the absolute domain of the state government, there should have been a more direct approach and engagement from the state government on this vexed issue, the union said.
The AAPSU said there are similar existing problems in other assembly constituencies of the state as well that require immediate attention.
“It has to be understood that consistent disregard for the rights and aspirations of indigenous people may invite more such mishappenings in the near future.”
“The government should view the entire issue seriously and immediately take up AAPSU’s previous demand for the amendment of Arunachal Pradesh Panchayati Raj Act, 1997,” the union said.
The AAPSU further said it does not advocate or encourage any form of violence and Friday’s incident at Vijaynagar was an unfortunate one.
Especially, the burning down of the EAC office is against the larger interest of the state, it said.
Peace and tranquility should be maintained at all times as violence has never brought solution to any of the problems plaguing mankind, the union said while appealing to all the communities to maintain peace and tranquility in the area.
Vijaynagar witnessed widespread arson on Friday as a mob of around 400 people reportedly led by the All Yobin Students’ Union set fire to the offices of the extra assistant commissioner, special branch of the state police and the post office, besides ransacking the local police station.
The civil helipad was also partially damaged by the mob.
The police on Sunday arrested 24 persons in connection with the case.
The protesters have been demanding the cancelation of electoral rights given to non-indigenous people (mostly ex-Assam Rifles settlers) of Vijaynagar in the Panchayat election and their removal from the area.