Centres decision on citizenship to Chakmas, Hajongs opposed

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first_imgItanagar, May 27 (PTI) The Centres decision to grant citizenship to Chakma and Hajong refugees in Arunachal Pradesh was today opposed by students unions and some political parties who demanded that the state government pursue the matter rigorously with it.A consultative meeting held during the day by All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union(AAPSU) resolved and endorsed AAPSU to conduct an all party meeting to be compulsorily attended by all the 60 MLAs and three MPs of the state within one week to draw more consensus on the issue.It also resolved to revive the high power committee constituted by the union home ministry to study the refugee issue besides carrying out enumeration of the population of Chakmas, Hajongs and Tibetan refugees in the state and discuss the issue of granting ST status to Yobin community in the all party meeting.The meeting appealed to the state government to carry out eviction drive and contain the refugees within the designated blocks till a mechanism is framed.AAPSU president Hawa Bagang expressed surprise over the Centres move even after it assured the students? body at a recent meeting in New Delhi that it would look into the issue positively.Its legal advisor Marto Kato wondered how the Central decision was taken when a curative petition and a special leave petition filed by the state government and the union was pending with the Supreme Court.AAPSU, the apex students union of the state, has been spearheading the movement against the refugees since 1990 and has expressed apprehension that if Chakmas and Hajongs are granted citizenship and settlement rights in Arunachal Pradesh the indigenous tribal communities would be reduced to a minority and opportunities currently available to them would be taken away.advertisementThe meeting was attended by All Papum Pare District Students? Union (APPDSU) and All Tai-Khampti Singpho Students Union, which blamed the state government for improper planning to deal with the issue.Arunachal Press Club President Chopa Cheda asked the AAPSU leadership to immediately convene the all party meeting for a lasting resolution of the problem.Peoples Party of Arunachal (PPA) central working committee chairman Kameng Ringu asked the state government to discuss the matter immediately with the Centre and suggested setting up of a refugee department. Former minister Nyato Rigia suggested the AAPSU leadership to work in tandem with the state government to hammer out a permanent solution.Sports and Youth Affairs department chairman Bamang Tago suggested for confining the refugees in their designated camps till a permanent solution is arrived at and a tripartite talk between the state government, central government and representatives from Chakmas and Hajongs.The meeting also discussed issues including status of Tibetan refugees in the state, enacting laws to protect and safeguard indigenous tribal rights and status of Yobin and Lisu community. Chakmas and Hajongs were originally residents of Chittagong Hill Tracts in erstwhile East Pakistan who left their homeland when it was submerged by the Kaptai dam project in the 1960s. The Chakmas, who are Buddhists, and Hajongs, who are Hindus, also faced religious persecution and entered India through the then Lushai Hills district of Assam (now Mizoram). The Centre moved the majority of them to the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA), which is now Arunachal Pradesh. According to officials, the number of these refugees has increased from about 5,000 in 1964-69 to 1,00,000. At present, they do not posses citizenship and land rights but are provided basic amenities by the state government. In 2015, the Centre was given a deadline by the Supreme Court to confer citizenship to these refugees within three months. The Arunachal Pradesh government approached the apex court in appeal against the order but its curative petition is yet to be heard. PTI UPL KK KKlast_img

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