Arunachal Pradesh Assembly on Thursday resolved to persuade the Centre to include the frontier state in the Sixth Schedule of Constitution and amend Article 371(H) to protect the rights of its indigenous population, PTI reported.
The resolution was moved by Home Minister Bamang Felix and it said, “The legislative assembly resolves that the state of Arunachal Pradesh be included in the 6th Schedule of the Constitution to protect tribal rights of the indigenous people”.
The assembly further resolves that the special provision with respect to the state be further strengthened by amending Article 371(H) by inserting provisions for protection of religious or social practices of the tribes of the state, customary law and procedure of the states tribes, administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to customary law of the tribes and ownership and transfer of land and its resources, it said.
The Sixth Schedule deals with provisions for the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram. It seeks to safeguard the rights of the tribal populations through the formation of Autonomous District Councils, the PTI report added.
Arunachal Pradesh bordering Bhutan, China and Myanmar come under the Fifth Schedule, which deals with provisions related to the administration and control of scheduled areas and scheduled tribes.
Article 371(H) has special provisions in respect of the governor and the total seats in its assembly.
Chief Minister Pema Khandu taking part in the discussion said that Arunachal Pradesh has many tribes but not adequate laws to protect tribal rights.
“We have no laws to protect our tribal rights and customary laws. It is time we need to act strongly for safeguarding our rights”, he said.
We will place the resolution before the Centre explaining all the views expressed by the MLAs and the CBOs so that it can be taken up for discussion in both Houses of Parliament, Khandu said.