ITANAGAR, Jan 20 � The saga of Chinese stapled visa issue continues to haunt the people of this strategically-located hilly border State with its major pressure group, All Arunachal Pradesh Students� Union (AAPSU) declaring to boycott the forthcoming Republic Day celebrations to register its strongest-ever protest over the issue.
In a sudden shift from its past practices, China has recently issued stapled visas to the Indian Weightlifting Federation�s joint secretary Abraham K Techi and Yukar Sibi, a weightlifter � both residents of Arunachal Pradesh. They were about to board a flight to China on an invitation from the Chinese Weightlifting Association to take part in the January 15-17 China Weightlifting Grand Prix at Fujian province, but at the last moment they were prevented from flying by Indian immigration officials at IGI Airport in New Delhi.
The AAPSU, lodging its protest over the �humiliation� meted out to both Arunachalees, has decided to boycott all State functions of national importance, including the Republic Day, AAPSU president Takam Tatung has said.
He said AAPSU�s extreme step follows New Delhi�s alleged indifference towards Arunachal Pradesh and its citizens, especially in the wake of China�s evil designs including its oft-repeated claims on Arunachal territory.
�The budding weightlifter Yukar Sibi and his mentor Techi K Abraham were disallowed to embark on the invitational trip to the neighbouring country because of visa row�all this has happened only because of lack of will on the part of Central government,� he rued.
The AAPSU leader maintained, �By issuing stapled visas to our fellow Arunachalees, China has virtually challenged the Indian rule over Arunachal Pradesh. Moreover, the Central government�s response in this regard has been very lukewarm.�
�Why the budding sportsperson like Yukar Sibi have been made a scapegoat for none of his fault? New Delhi and Beijing should resolve the border dispute at the earliest so that Arunachalee citizens do not suffer because of the border row,� he said.
Tatung said AAPSU had repeatedly been protesting the Chinese claim over Arunachal and has even lodged its protests at Delhi but the Centre was yet to take any concrete step. Notwithstanding all these, it appears that the Central government does not want to treat Arunachalee citizens as Indians, and hence, there lays no rationale on our part to celebrate the Republic Day in Arunachal.