By NewsGram Staff Writer
New Delhi: On Wednesday, a two-day meeting of the first ever tribal delegation from the Naga-dominated districts of Arunachal Pradesh between Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju and Naga peace interlocutor R.N. Ravi, concluded with the latter assuring them that their demands would be fulfilled.
Tirap, Changlang and Longding were the districts represented in the talks.
The delegation was assured that the next step to ensure the development in those areas would be the creation of Patkai Autonomous Council.
“We, at any cost want the formation of the Patkai Autonomous Council. We have been deprived of development for so long. It is possible only if the three districts get autonomy. The political organisations are least bothered about development there,” said Nokchai Boham, a member of the delegation, after the meeting.
Boham said: “The government cannot openly speak about the step it is taking for the uplifting of the three districts as there are high chances that the issue might be politicised and be made a factor behind the disturbances in the state.”
Earlier, Chief Minister Nabam Tuki had met the home minister over similar demands but this is the first time that the tribal leaders from Tirap, Changlang and Longding are included in the committee.
Previously, a delegation of All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) had called on R.N. Ravi and urged him not to compromise on the territorial integrity of the state while executing the final draft of the Naga peace accord with the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah).
NSCN (I-M) wants a greater homeland comprising of Nagaland and the Naga-inhabited areas of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and parts of Upper Myanmar.
Speaking about the AAPSU’s meet with the interlocutor, Boham said: “Tirap, Changlang and Longding are Naga tribe dominated areas and there is no point on raising the issue with non-Nagas as they won’t understand the real problem and rather politicise the developmental issues in the three districts.”
He also alleged that the funds for development of the three districts have been misused and channelized for the development of other tribes and not Nagas, which has affected the development of these areas.
Confirming the development, Rijiju told IANS: “The government is well aware of the development required in Tirap, Changlang and Longding, and will take steps accordingly. The government will do everything possible.”
The districts are economically and socially deprived inspite of being rich in natural resources because of the lack of funds. They are also considered to have several camps of extremist groups such as National Socialist Council of Nagaland -Khaplang and United Liberation Front of Assam.
It was due to this reason that the Narendra Modi-led central government had extended the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in the three districts a couple of months back without consulting CM Nabam Tuki, who leads the Congress government in the state.
(With inputs from IANS)