Itanagar, June 2: The Arunachal Pradesh Government has decided to settle members of the Puroik community at Tomru Village under Doimukh circle, about 25 kilometers from here.
Also known as Sullungs, the members of the community were considered as bonded labourer in the state earlier but were freed from the clutch of slavery by a court order during 2002.
The proposed five-hector settlement area under Doimukh Circle wore a new look on Friday with the community members, particularly youth and students, clearing thick jungles on self help basis.
The area has been allotted by state land management department in response to a memorandum submitted by the Puroik Welfare Board to Chief Minister Pema Khandu on May 21 last for their settlement.
Justice I Ansari of Gauhati High Court while disposing off a case between Bopai Puroik vs State of Arunachal Pradesh and others on December 13, 2002 had directed the state government for ‘appointment of one graduate from Sullung tribe as extra assistant commissioner (EAC)’ for which Bopai was appointed as EAC.
Puroik Welfare Board Vice Chairman Siji Nanu informed that there are large numbers of members of the community who do not have residence in any part of the state, even in Capital Complex.
They are scattered in different parts of state including East Kameng, Kurung Kumey, Kra Daadi and Papum Pare districts due to lack of permanent land because of which they are facing lots of difficulties in their day-to-day life, he added.
Former Governor PB Acharya during his visit to Puroik Colony at Papu Nallah on March 5 last year, was aghast at their inhuman living condition beyond expression and had facilitated formation of the Puroik Welfare Board for their emancipation.
The state government, at the imitative of chief secretary has allocated Rs 10 crore in 2018-19 budget for self-employment activities to ensure their socio-economic development.
Interestingly, state lawmakers irrespective of party affiliation had raised their voices in unison for social equality, justice, job opportunity and rehabilitation and resettlement measures for Puroiks on March 2, 2011 while responding to a private member resolution moved by Chayang Tajo MLA Karya Bagang, which prompted the then Dorjee Khandu government to constituted a high power committee to prepare a report on socio-economic status of the community.