Nagas in Arunachal seek surrender and rehabilitation
Itanagar/New Delhi, July 23 (IANS): A Naga students outfit in Arunachal Pradesh has urged chief minister Pema Khandu to come up with a surrender and rehabilitation policy for the youths who joined the outlawed forces, to enable them to return to mainstream.
With over 500 Naga youths in Arunachal Pradesh having joined the outlawed forces, the Arunachal Naga Student’s Federation (ANSF) said the policy can be used by the cadres as a platform to return to civilian life.
ANSF, a powerful Naga youth outfit in Arunachal Pradesh, has also sought a paramedical college to be set up in one of the Naga inhabited districts like Tirap, Changlang and Longding, so that the youngsters can be engaged in professional courses and stay away from outlawed forces.
The ANSF has been demanding a surrender and rehabilitation policy on the lines of the one that exists in Assam since 1998. The main objective was to wean away the youths who have strayed into militancy and now find themselves trapped.
The scheme should also ensure that the militants who have surrendered do not stray back into insurgent groups, the ANSF said.
“Tirap, Changlang and Longding are all development deprived districts of Arunachal Pradesh. Youths, mostly out of frustration, join outlawed groups and find themselves trapped. This needs to be ended,” said ANSF president Nokchai Boham.
“We want the state government to come up with a surrender and rehabilitation policy so that they can come back to civilian life,” Boham said.
The ANSF leaders have said they would meet defence minister Arun Jaitley and union home minister Rajnath Singh to press for their demands.
The organisation, which has also revived the demand for autonomous council for the three districts, has sought a Sainik school for the region so that teenagers from early age are motivated to join the Indian defence forces.
Alleging that the Arunachal Pradesh government was denying the Nagas their genuine demands, the community said they have waited for too long to see development in the districts where they reside, and felt the area could develop only under an autonomous council.