ITANAGAR, Apr 18: All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) has pounced upon a letter written by former Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru which justifies the claim that people of Tirap and Changlang are indigenous tribal of Arunachal and not Naga as claimed by underground groups of Nagaland. In recent days Naga People’s Front (NPF), the largest political party of Nagaland has controversially decided to start its Arunachal unit claiming that people of Tirap and Changlang are being discriminated by government of Arunachal Pradesh.
AAPSU managed to dig out a letter written by Nehru dated 18th November 1958 in which first prime minister of India had clearly addressed the tribal’s of these two districts as Nocte, Tangsa, Wancho and Singpho. There is no reference of word Naga in the letter, which shows that government of India had recognized tribal’s of Tirap and Changalng as Nocte, Tangsa, Wancho and Singpho from the time of Nehru. AAPSU President Takam Tatung in a release today said this letter should end the debate about identity of people of Tirap and Changlang.
“History tells that people of these two districts are indigenous tribal of Arunachal like any other tribes. Even first prime minister of India Nehru had acknowledged it,” said AAPSU president Takam Tatung. He further added, “People of Tirap and Changlang were caught in-between Naga and Arunachalee identity for long. They got humiliated in their own home. Documents like this could have gone long way in helping them preserve their Arunachalee identity. It’s shocking why our state government hid this letter for long?”
Further Tatung questioned whether government of Arunachal is hell bent on selling Tirap and Chanlang to Naga insurgent group. “Arunachal government never used old documents like this letter to counter the claim of Nagaland based UG group’s nefarious design to break our state. It seems they are willing to part away with these two districts. But AAPSU will not let even inch of Arunachalee land being given to any outsider,” said Takam Tatung.
AAPSU President also urged Nagaland based underground and political groups to stop claiming people of Tirap and Changalng as theirs. “If Nehru had recognized people of these two districts as Arunachalee tribal, who they are to claim them as theirs? Being tribal we share some similarities with all indigenous tribes of NE region. But that should not make people to claim other’s area as theirs,” stated Takam Tatung.