Arunachal govt nixes draft bill on property rights to girls after protests

Amidst speculations that the draft will be tabled in the form of a bill in the Assembly session, the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union expressed its opposition to the draft.
Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu (Photo | PTI)
Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu (Photo | PTI)

GUWAHATI: The BJP government in Arunachal Pradesh has shelved a move to study, debate, and consider granting marriage and inheritance of property rights to the girl child after it met with opposition.

The Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Women, Arunachal Pradesh Women’s Welfare Society, and Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Protection of Child Rights had compiled a draft on marriage and inheritance of property rights to the girl child.

Two days ago, Chief Minister Pema Khandu had praised the initiative but said the matter called for a debate and wider consultations involving all stakeholders.

“We want to give our daughters equal rights in all aspects. However, the issue at hand needs a proper debate and consultations given our indigenous identity and tribal rights, particularly property and inheritance rights,” Khandu had said.

Amidst speculations that the draft will be tabled in the form of a bill in the upcoming Assembly session, the influential All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union expressed its opposition to the draft.

The student body said it would not allow the bill, which takes away tribal rights, to be tabled in the Assembly or discussed in the state cabinet.

The students’ organisation said it would not mind property rights being given to tribal women but that it would oppose if tribal women married to non-tribals are considered for the same.

Minister and government spokesperson Bamang Felix assuaged the feelings by stating that the government had no plans to table the bill in the Assembly.

Felix said it was not being drafted by any department. He said the draft was submitted as a memorandum by the women commission members when they had met the CM recently.

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