Chakmas protest
Chakmas stage protest in Mizoram. File image credit - Paritosh Chakma

The Young Chakma Association (YCA) and village council presidents of five villages accused the central committee of the Young Lai Association (YLA) of harassing innocent people in Lawngtlai district in the name of checking citizenship documents.

The Young Lai Association is the biggest NGO in the Lawngtlai district.

In a letter addressed to the Lawngtlai deputy commissioner, the YCA and the council leaders alleged that the checking is being carried in Lai Autonomous District Council in the name of Local Area Population Census 2019.

The YLA of Lawngtlai district started carrying out a census in late May.

The YLA had decided to carry out the census as they believed that there was a spurt in the Chakma population in the district.

The Chakma youth and village council representatives sought immediate intervention of the deputy commissioner to end the ongoing population census being carried out by the YLA.

They said such action was akin to head counting of the Chakmas which they believe is “unconstitutional” and declared illegal by the Mizoram government before the National Human Rights Commission.

Through the letter the YCA and the village councils requested the DC to find out the facts about the ongoing census, to seize and destroy all data collected by the NGO and to ensure that such acts are not continued in the future.

The letter was signed by officials of 5 village council presidents and officials of the Young Chakma Association (YCA).

Speaking to Northeast Now, the president of the central committee of the Young Lai Association, J Sangthangpuia, said there are no plans to stop the census and termed the allegations as ‘false’.

“There is no harassment as such; we are carrying out the census as a normal procedure. We have almost completed the census and we will go on till the end,” he said.

The youth wing of the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) through a statement strongly condemned the act of the Young Chakma Association and said they expect that the association members would quickly revoke their accusation.

“We hope, the initiatives of the YLA will proceed without further complications and we are ready to aid the YLA members wherever necessary,” it said.

The youth wing of ZPM said the Chakma population in Mizoram has become defiant because the two leading parties, MNF and Congress have used the Chakmas as a vote bank.


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