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Sunday, October 1, 2023

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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Chakmas protest against racial profiling by Arunachal Pradesh govt

The protesters submitted a memorandum to Union Home Minister Amit Shah.


Chakmas and Hajongs led by Arunachal Pradesh Chakma Students Union (APCSU), the Committee for Citizenship Rights of the Chakmas and Hajongs of Arunachal Pradesh (CCRHCAP), Arunachal Pradesh Chakma and Hajong Students Association (APCHSA) and Chakma Development Foundation of India (CDFI) staged a protest at Jantar Mantar, against racial profiling of the Chakma and Hajong tribals by Arunachal Pradesh government through a special census conducted only for them.

On August 15, last year, Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Pema Khandu, announced that the Chakmas and Hajongs, who were settled in the state about 60 years ago, would be relocated outside and today (Tuesday), the training of the government enumerators is scheduled to be conducted at Diyun under Changlang district, a statement said.

The protesters submitted a memorandum to Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

“In clear violation of the directions of the National Human Rights Commission against the ongoing racial profiling on January 24, the Arunachal Pradesh state government officials sought to conduct illegal census and the training of the enumerators is supposed to be held today at Diyun. Chakmas and Hajongs shall not participate in any such illegal census,” the statement quoted Rup Singh Chakma, President of the APCSU as saying.

“The Chakmas and Hajongs who had migrated during 1964-1969 are citizens of India as per the Indira-Mujib accord of 1972 and Section 5(1) of the Citizenship Act of 1955. Those who are born in India are citizens by birth too. The state of Arunachal Pradesh, instead of implementing the Supreme Court judgement (NHRC vs State of Arunachal Pradesh of 1996) to confer citizenship and enrolling the Chakmas and Hajongs in electoral rolls, has started racial profiling of the Chakmas and Hajongs to keep the pot boiling, ” said Santosh Chakma, General Secretary of the CCRCHAP.

“There is no law in India which can make particular citizens to stand in the queue for census solely based on their Chakma or Hajong ethnic origin and the same is prohibited by Article 14 of the Constitution of India. By seeking to conduct special census, Arunachal Pradesh is destroying the communal harmony and cordial relations between the Chakmas and Hajongs on one hand and the other communities. There is need for immediate interventions from the Home minister to bring some sanity to this organised targeting of the worst victims of the descendants of the partition of India,” said Suhas Chakma, while addressing the protest.

In their memorandum to Shah, they demanded to immediately stop and abandon the ongoing process of illegal census of only the Chakma and Hajong people and bring an end to the repression on the communities through racial profiling, proper implementation of the Supreme Court judgment on the conferment of citizenship and compliance with the directions of the NHRC.

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