Chakma organisations have expressed their resentment over National Commission for Minorities (NCM) member Rinchen Lhamo excluding Papum Pare district from her official visit to investigate anomalies in the implementation of funds meant for Chakma communities in Arunachal Pradesh.
“The Chakmas reside in Changlang, Namsai and Papum Pare districts of Arunachal Pradesh. However, because of a ‘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 visit of NCM Member,” said Koruna Sindhu, president of Chakma Displaced Families Justice Demand Committee (CDFJDC).
Lhamo, who is on a five-day visit to Chakma community-dominated areas of the state from May 17, will meet Buddhist Chakmas in Namsai and Changlang districts to investigate allegations of non-implementation of minority schemes meant for Buddhist Chakmas, which has not gone well with the Chakma bodies, who claim that Chakmas, who are less in numbers at Papum Pare, are the most vulnerable among the community residing in Arunachal Pradesh, and must have been allowed to meet NCM member.
In a letter to the NCM member, the Chakmas of Papum Pare district urged her to either visit the Buddhist Chakmas residing in Papum Pare district or allow their delegation to meet her at Itanagar to investigate allegations of non-implementation of minority schemes for the Buddhist Chakmas.
Sindhu revealed that as per 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.
It was informed that the Chakmas of Papum Pare have been made more vulnerable because of the misappropriation of Rs 36 crore fund released 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 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, including former Mizoram minister Nirupam Chakma and Rashtriya Tribal Sangh president Uttam Chakma, had met Lhamo on March 29 requesting her to visit the Buddhist inhabited areas in the Northeast.
Taking cognisance of the Hollongi scam, the Guwahati High Court in its latest order on April 28, had directed Papum Pare deputy commissioner-cum-district collector to submit an affidavit under which it had directed to transfer rehabilitation and resettlement money to the Chakma Rehabilitation and Resettlement Committee (CRRC) instead of handing over the respective award to the 156 affected persons, and further directed the CRRC as to whether they are ready and willing to re-transfer the amount transferred to their account back to Papum Pare DC 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) he met Lhamo and advised her for the visit.
“Drishya Muni Chakma visited the airport displaced Chakma victims at Hollongi on February 1 to 2. He prepared a fact-finding report but the report was not released for over a year. However, when his fact-finding report was released by his rival faction on April 10, Chakma along with the prime accused of the scam Bijay Ranjan Chakma, president of the CRRC and main accused of the scam had stated that the fact-finding report itself is fake! It is for such reasons that the Chakmas of Papum Pare have been excluded from meeting the NCM member lest he gets exposed,” CDFJDC said.
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.