The Chakma Development Foundation of India (CDFI) has slammed Arunachal Pradesh government over the proposed deportation of over 60,000 Chakmas and Hajongs to other states. 

In a memorandum to Prime Minister – Narendra Modi, Home Minister – Amit Shah, RSS chief – Mohan Bhagwat, Arunachal Pradesh chief minister – Pema Khandu and Assam CM – Himanta Biswa Sarma, the CDFI said that out of the 60,000 Chakmas and Hajongs in Arunachal Pradesh, almost “94% are Indian citizens by birth”. 

“The Chakmas and Hajongs and ex- Assam Rifles personnel were settled in then centrally administered North East Frontier Agency (NEFA) from 1964 to 1968 for defence of India following 1962 Indo-China war,” a statement from the CDFI read. 

“This is nothing but an act of racial profiling of the Chakmas and Hajongs. Targeting Chakmas and Hajongs only for settlement outside of Arunachal Pradesh proves that we are being targeted because of our ethnicity,” said Suhas Chakma, founder of the CDFI. 

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The CDFI said that CM Pema Khandu had spoken about the resettlement of Chakmas and Hajongs outside Arunachal Pradesh while Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju stated in various public meetings that the Citizenship Amendment Act was enacted to undo the Supreme Court judgment of 1996 granting the Chakmas and the Hajongs citizenship. 

“The Chakmas and Hajongs totally and wholly reject any attempt to create ethno-Centric State by settling them outside the State. If Arunachal Pradesh wants to settle the Chakmas and Hajongs in other States, it will be expected to share the population burden of those States as part of India. In fact, more settlement in sparsely populated Arunachal Pradesh will be argued for ensuring territorial integrity of India given China’s threat. Each day there are incursions from China, there are hardly any people in the borders while the threats from China to the territorial integrity of India is more than before,”- said Nilondra Tanya Chakma, Arunachal Pradesh state director of CDFI. 

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“If the Chakmas and Hajongs are dumped into Assam by Arunachal Pradesh, Assam shall be the dumping ground for all the unwanted communities in the States covered by the Inner Line Permit i.e., Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland and the Sixth Schedule Area states i.e., Meghalaya. The Union of India must not create more conflicts nor must it aid to create ethnocentric States,” said Suhas Chakma. 

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