Arunachal Chakmas Papum Pare

Kokila: In a letter to Rinchen Lhamo, Member of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM), the Chakmas of Papum Pare district requested her either to visit the Buddhist Chakmas residing in Papum Pare district or allow their delegation to meet her at Itanagar during the ongoing visit to Arunachal Pradesh from 17 to 22 May 2022 to investigate allegations of non-implementation of minority schemes for the Buddhist Chakmas. 

Koruna Sindhu, President of the Chakma Displaced Families Justice Demand Committee (CDFJDC) said, “The Chakmas reside in three districts of Arunachal Pradesh i.e. Changlang, Namsai and Papum Pare districts. However, because of the conspiracy committed by those accused in the Hollongi airport displacement scam in which 156 Chakma families were displaced, the Chakmas of Papum Pare were completely excluded from the tour programme of the NCM member who is visiting Buddhist Chakmas in only Namsai and Changlang districts.”

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He added, “As per the 2011 census there were only 1,562 Chakma speaking persons in Papum Pare district and therefore, they are the most vulnerable among the Buddhist Chakmas in the State.”

The Chakmas of Papum Pare district have been made more vulnerable because of the misappropriation of Rs 36 crore given for rehabilitation and resettlement of the 156 Chakma displaced families by some local Chakma leaders and the state government officials. 

One of the main accused in the Hollongi scam, Paritosh Chakma from Mizoram along with other Chakma BJP leaders including former Minister from Mizoram Nirupam Chakma and Rashtriya Tribal Sangh President Uttam Chakma had met Lhamo on 28 March 2022 requesting her to visit the Buddhist inhabited areas in the North East. 

The scam is known to all and the Guwahati High Court in its latest order dated April 28, 2022, directed the Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Collector, Papum Pare District to submit an affidavit under which provision of law, he had exercised the power to transfer rehabilitation and re-settlement money to the Chakma Rehabilitation and Resettlement Committee (CRRC) instead of handing over the respective award to the 156 affected persons. 

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The order further directed the CRRC as to whether they are ready and willing to re-transfer the amount transferred to their account back to the Deputy Commissioner, Papum Pare District, in the event the Court finds that the money was wrongly transferred to its account.

As per information shared by Drishya Muni Chakma, President of Arunachal Pradesh Chakma Students Union (Drishya Muni faction) on social media, he met Lhamo and gave inputs for preparing the tour programme.

“Drishya Muni Chakma visited the airport and displaced Chakma victims at Hollongi on 1-2 February 2021. He prepared a fact-finding report but the same report was not released for over a year. However, when his fact-finding report was released by his rival faction on 10 April 2022, Drishya Muni Chakma along with the prime accused of the scam Bijay Ranjan Chakma, President of the CRRC and main accused of the scam in a press release published in The Arunachal Times on 13 April 2022 stated that the said fact-finding report itself is fake! It is for such reasons that the Chakmas of Papum Pare were excluded from the tour pogramme of the NCM member lest he gets exposed”, stated the CDFJDC.

The CDFJDC requested the NCM member to highlight the deplorable situation of the Chakma Buddhists in Papum Pare district, and issue appropriate directions for proper rehabilitation and resettlement of the 156 displaced Chakma Buddhists families displaced by the airport at Hollongi and prosecution of the culprits. 

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