ITANAGAR: Claiming that many Tibetan refugees settled in Arunachal Pradesh have been claiming benefits of the scheduled tribe (ST) status under false pretences, Arunachal Civil Society (ACS), an NGO, urged the state government to cancel their ST certificates.Arunachal shares a long and disputed border with China and is claimed by the country as Southern Tibet. In a memorandum to CM Pema Khandu on Tuesday, ACS alleged that Tibetan nationals have been entering the state in the guise of businessmen. “It is difficult to distinguish Tibetan refugees from the local Monpas, Sherpas or Sherdukpens as all groups share religious and ethnic similarities,” ACS said.”The state government should immediately constitute an expert committee to study the Tibetan refugee issue,” it added.The ACS further demanded that the Arunachal government initiate immediate steps to identify each and every tribe living in the Himalayan state and abrogate the vague term ‘Any Naga Tribe’ used in the Constitution and the State of Arunachal Pradesh Act, 1986.”Even after 30 years of attaining statehood, the numbers and names of tribal communities have not been exactly identified. The Arunachal Pradesh Act, 1986, lists only 12 tribal communities in the state.
Moreover, tribes like Tangsa, Nocte, Wanchoos, Tutsa have been clubbed together under the head ‘Any Naga Tribe’,” the organization said.”This vague term has allowed our neighbour Nagaland and National Socialist Council of Nagalim to include eastern Arunachal within its vision of Nagalim or Greater Nagaland,” ACS added in its memorandum.