Protest against China over stapled visas

New Delhi : Hundreds of people representing the Arunachal Civil Society organisation staged a protest here on Saturday against the issuance of stapled visas to the people of Arunachal Pradesh by the Chinese government.

They marched towards the Chinese embassy from Arunachal Pradesh Bhavan in the national capital and submitted a memorandum of their demands to the Chinese ambassador.

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They also blamed the Indian government for not taking up the issue with China.

“Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently visited China (May 14-19), held talks on several issues related to industry, defence, and other bilateral agreements but not on the stapled visa issue. This was indeed very disappointing,” Patey Tayum, chairman of Arunachal Civil Society, told IANS.

China has been issuing stapled visas to Indian citizens from Arunachal Pradesh since 1981 when it refused to issue a visa to then speaker of Arunachal Pradesh assembly, late T.L. Rajkumar, to attend a conference.

Since then such incidents have been repeated with several academicians and sportspersons.

“We strongly believe that China issues stapled visas to the people of Arunachal Pradesh to undermine the dignity, integrity and sovereignty of India.

“We feel humiliated and insulted by the action of China and more so by the silence of India on the issue,” Tayum said.

“India’s lack of efforts to solve the staple visa issue is giving China an opportunity to continue doing whatever they want,” he added.

J.T. Tagam, a senior representative of the Arunachal Pradesh Student’s Union in Delhi, said the absence of any action by India has emboldened the Chinese army to intrude into many parts of Arunachal Pradesh.

“It is astonishing how the Indian government permitted Chinese engineers to work in the field situated in Arunachal Pradesh, while China continues to deny giving regular visa to people of Arunachal Pradesh,” he said.