ITANAGAR, Aug 31 - Amid growing protests in Arunachal Pradesh against the recent decision by its Cabinet to implement the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy, 2014, the ruling BJP has said that the policy will not affect the indigenous population in any way.
�The Tibetans are not claiming any citizenship but staying in three settlements in the State in an organised way unlike the Chakma and Hajong refugees,� State BJP president Tapir Gao said during an interaction with the media here yesterday.
He said, the State Government has no separate policy on the Tibetans but is following the Central policy which is mandatory as India was a signatory of the Geneva Agreement. �The Rehabilitation Policy was framed during 1959 when the Dalai Lama fled Tibet and took political asylum in India. The policy which is being reviewed every 20 years is not an act so far. Since we respect human rights, we are obliged to follow the policy,� he said.
Several organisations like All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union, Arunachal Citizen Rights, Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee and Peoples� Party of Arunachal have protested against the decision of the State Cabinet to implement the policy and demanded its immediate rollback.
The decision, they claimed, would badly affect the indigenous tribal population of the State especially in job and other facilities from State as well as Central schemes.
As per the 2009 census, a total of 1,10,095 Tibetans are present in the country and settled in 45 settlements in ten States. There are six settlements in Karnataka, one each in Maharashtra, Odisha and Chattisgarh, three in Arunachal Pradesh, two in Sikkim, two in West Bengal, four in Uttarakhand, 16 in Himachal Pradesh and nine in Jammu and Kashmir.
Gao informed that out of the 7,530 Tibetans settled in three settlements in Arunachal Pradesh, 935 have been rehabilitated in Canada last year.
�As per the Rehabilitation Policy, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) conducts census of the Tibetan refugees every five years and submit report to the Centre as well as the respective State Governments,� Gao said.
He said the Centre found that the level of assistance and facilities extended by various State Governments to the Tibetans were not uniform. The Rehabilitation Policy, 2014 was framed to provide an uniform guideline demarcating the facilities to be extended to the Tibetan refugees living within the jurisdiction of each State Government.
As per the policy, the State Government should necessarily sign a lease document for the land occupied by the Tibetans for a period of 20 years or till it is revoked or cancelled. Moreover, Rent Tenancy Certificate should be issued by the respective State Governments and land under their occupation should not be disturbed.
Gao said, the State Government has been advised by the Centre to extend State Government as well as Central schemes such as MNREGS, PDS, NFSA, IAY, NRLM, RAY and NRHM, besides infrastructural facilities and basic amenities like roads, electrification, drinking water and medical facilities in and around the Tibetan settlements. The State Government had also been advised to permit qualified professionals amongst the Tibetans to pursue jobs in private and non-government sectors in any field.
The Tibetan settlements in Arunachal Pradesh are at Miao in Changlang district, Tenzing Gaon in West Kameng district, Tezu in Lohit district and Tuting in Upper Siang district. However, the Tuting settlement had been merged with the Tezu settlement a few years back.
Responding to a query regarding government job facilities to the Tibetans when several thousands of indigenous Arunachalees are unemployed, Gao said that they are not entitled for the 80 per cent posts reserved for the locals but can compete in the 20 per cent in open category. � PTI