The news about this China visit by an Arunachalee was broke by the Head of the Department of the Institution where this Arunachalee worked as a lecturer and all the hell broke loose.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, accused the lecturer of using fraudulent means to get his visa to China, thereby maligning the name of the institution, the state whom he represented and the country as a whole and promised a disciplinary action against him when he returned and issued a memo to HoD for issuing a press release without his knowledge and without University's consent.
But in a dramatic move, all of a sudden, VC Prof. K.C. Belliappa made a 'U' turn and retracted his earlier statement saying that the 'actual factual fact' to obtain the visa to China by his colleague has been ascertained and that he (Marpe Sora) didn't gave false affidavit while applying for the visa.
"I have now ascertained the actual factual facts with the return of Sora to the campus. In the affidavit, Sora has testified that he is an Arunachalee by birth and that he is teaching in Rajiv Gandhi University, Prof. Belliappa said.
The address at Guwahati mentioned in the affidavit is where Sora's brother-in-law lives. Sora was a resident in that house while he was pursuing his M. Tech course in Tezpur University, Assam. Hence, all the three statement made by Sora in the affidavit are factually correct and there is no iota of falsehood in the affidavit."
Now, one wonders, why Prof. Beliappa made this sudden 'U' turn in his statement after vouching to take stern disciplinary action for using fraudulent means in his earlier statement? Being a VC of premier institute, shouldn't he have verified the fact prior to issuing any press statement instead of retracting later? Or was it the case of 'why should I be left behind when others (read HoD) are hogging the limelight of this historical event'? Or was it that New Delhi had asked the VC to do so i.e., to retract his statement (VC stated that he was getting lot's of phone calls in the wake of his statement in the press about the 'false affidavit')? But then, why would New Delhi like to do so? Hmm..sounds rational.
If the VC retracted his statement at the behest of New Delhi, the only sensible reasoning that I can arrive at is-in order to reassure that New Delhi is keen to solve the Boundary problem and they have made significant achievement through diplomatic talks, to the people of Arunachal, which has, off late become quite vocal about the Indian government's stand on Arunachal vis-à-vis Indo-China boundary row over Arunachal, the statement of VC had to be changed, who was hell bent on proving (stated that he had documentary proof) that Marpe Sora got visa not as an Arunachalee but as a resident of Assam, in which case all the hailing of positive shift in Chinese diplomacy towards the vexed boundary dispute would all go down the drain.
Now that VC has corroborated the 'factual facts' (at whose behest or for whatever reasons) and stated that Marpe Sora had clearly stated that he was an Arunachalee by birth in his affidavit, should we say history was made by Marpe Sora becoming first Arunachalee to visit China on Chinese visa? No, if we go by the claims pouring in. In a Letter to the Editor that appeared in The Arunachal Times dated December 12, one Vishal P Nabam has claimed to have visited China on 90 days visa from Chinese Embassy, New Delhi during the month of October 2006 and that he knows several other Arunachalees who have visited China before him and that all the media hailing Marpe Sora as the first Arunachalee to visit China is 'absurd and misguiding'.
"I would like to make a statement before your esteemed readers and the people of Arunachal Pradesh that I do not accept at all that Marpe Sora is the first Arunachal born citizen to obtain visa to visit China because I had visited China in October, 2006 by duly obtaining a 90 days visa from the Chinese Embassy, New Delhi. I reached Beijing on October 4, 2006 and stayed at Jillin, Changchun province, China for 7 days. I climbed the Great Wall of China on October 11, 2006 and obtained the Hero Card. I have seen Mao Testung Square, World Trade Center (WTC) and many other historical places.
I am not giving a counter claim that I am the first one to visit China but I would like to simply tell that I know that there are many Arunachalees who had visited China before me."-Vishal P Nabam
I was wondering, why now? Why he didn't come out with this information earlier? Was it that he couldn't take the media attention that a fellow Arunachalee was getting for being the first Arunachalee to visit China and that he needed to share the limelight?
Whether History was set or not, whether all the media statements and claims made for hogging the limelight or not- but this entire event has made one thing clear that an Arunachalee like any other Indians are granted visa to visit China until and unless he/she is on an Indian Government Sponsored Programme.
Chinese Visa to an Arunachalee-A Positive Diplomatic stance or a Slip Up?