By Tenzin Dharpo
Banner calling for expulsion of Tibetan refugees from Arunachal Pradesh surface in Itanagar since Oct. 6, 2017.
DHARAMSHALA, Aug. 6: Tibetan owned shops in the North-eastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh’s capital Itanagar, that were burned by mobs in February are finally set to get some respite. The exile Tibetan government known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration announced Tuesday that victims will get relief aid that were amassed through donations from around the globe.
CTA’s home department today said that they have received a donation of INR 3,639,362/- (51,392 USD) from generous public and different organizations and that the sum will be distributed equally among the 16 families with each family receiving INR 227,000/- (3205 USD) for rehabilitation.
CTA said that their urgent appeal for help has been met with generous contributions for the 16 families who lost their life’s savings in the tragedy. While there was no condemnation for the perpetrators, the Home Department said, “Because of the fact that internal political conflicts happen in the state of Arunachal from time to time, the Tibetans living there have been experiencing various problems as an inevitable ripple effects of these conflicts”.
In February this year, violence and arson in Itanagar saw more than a dozen Tibetan shops in the Takar complex razed in the fire set by the mob that also burned residences of the deputy chief minister and the office of a deputy commissioner among others. The aggressors were protesting against state government’s plan to grant Permanent Resident Certificate (PRC) to some minorities living in the state.
Tibetan shops in the same complex were individually named and threatened by students group called Students United Movement for All Arunachal (SUMMA) in October 2017. Phayul has learned that most of the Tibetan shopkeepers whose shops were set on fire are originally from Bomdila, Tenzingang, Dekyiling and Hunsur Tibetan settlements.
Tibetans in Arunachal Pradesh state live in three settlements and cluster units in Tezu, Miao, Tuting, and Tenzingang earning their livelihoods by farming and doing micro businesses, primarily in the retail sector. Tibetans in the state have been on the radar of many local groups and organisations who have on few occasions called for the expulsion of Tibetan refugees from the state citing ethnic and economic imbalance.