The Chakma National Council of India (CNCI) has called upon the Centre to comply with two Supreme Court orders prescribing citizenship to the Chakma and Hajongs residing in Arunachal Pradesh six decades ago.
The CNCI and its affiliates such as the All India Chakma Students’ Union and the Rashtriya Chakma Tribal Sangh have also expressed solidarity with the Chakmas and Hajongs of Arunachal Pradesh in rejecting the alleged plan to relocate them elsewhere in the country.
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu in his last Independence Day speech said the Chakmas and Hajongs, who number more than 60,000, would be relocated outside the State.
The Centre had settled the Buddhist Chakmas and Hindu Hajongs in Arunachal Pradesh from 1964-1969 after they were displaced by a dam in erstwhile East Pakistan. Some were victims of religious persecution.
“Any plan or proposal to resolve the Chakma-Hajong issue of Arunachal Pradesh by displacing them or relocating them to some other state or states as being proposed by the Arunachal Pradesh government shall be disastrous and inhuman,” the CDCI said in a statement.
“The Chakmas and Hajongs have been legally settled there by the Government of India in consultation with erstwhile NEFA administration during 1964-69 and lands were allotted in consultation with local tribes which is clearly in consonance with Section 7 of Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873,” it added.
NEFA expands to North East Frontier Agency, which later became Arunachal Pradesh.
The group reminded the government of two Supreme Court orders – in 1996 and 2015 – saying the Chakmas and Hajongs be granted Indian citizenship.
“It is high time for the Government of India to comply with the apex court’s orders,” the statement added.
The CDCI pointed out that the India leadership failed the Chakma and Hajong minorities during Partition in 1947.
“The present leadership must not fail them again and increase or prolong their sufferings,” the statement further said.