Guwahati: The Chakma Development Foundation of India (CDFI) on Monday urged Arunachal Deputy CM Chowna Mein‘s intervention against racial profiling of the Chakmas in Arunachal Pradesh ahead of his visit to the Bordumsa-Diyun constituency on October 19.

“The Arunachal Pradesh government has been conducting a census of Chakmas and only the Chakmas. If you are trying to identify somebody for whatever reason, either because somebody has committed a crime, or somebody is an illegal immigrant, you cannot focus on just one community. You have to find out from every community,” Suhas Chakma, the founder of CDFI, told EastMojo.

He requested that any census, if conducted, should be for all tribes and not just target the Chakmas.

“Out of hundreds of communities, you cannot just pick one community for your political gains. Even if you look at it, they are so disingenuous, they are not conducting a census among Hajongs. This vilification of particular communities for political purposes, wherever it happens, be it in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, this has to stop,” said Suhas Chakma, firmly standing his ground.

Officials of the Arunachal Pradesh government have been conducting a census of Chakmas under Changlang district, informed the CDFI founder.

The Additional Deputy Commissioner of Bordumsa, Changlang district, had reportedly written a letter to the Village Headmen of Bijoypur I, II and III under Bordumsa Sub Division of Changlang district on October 1 to submit a ‘self-declared’ population detail of their respective villages with original and migrated settlers in the specimen format and prepare a consolidated data of all Chakmas residing in Bordumsa Division.

“Conducting a census of only the Chakmas is nothing but an act of racial profiling in clear violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India and International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination ratified by India,” Suhas Chakma further stated.

The organisation reiterated that the Chakmas of Arunachal Pradesh are citizens of India, even though due to the discriminatory policies and practices of the Arunachal Pradesh government, their citizenship applications have not been processed in the last 25 years in contempt of the Supreme Court judgments while those who are citizens by birth under the Citizenship Act, 1955 are not included into the electoral rolls.

The CDFI further stated that the population growth rate of each community and inter-community marriages in the Changlang district speak of different reality but it is only the Chakmas with the lowest population growth rate who are being singled out.

In addition, CDFI sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Pema Khandu and Sarsanghchalak of the RSS Mohan Bhagwat.

Also read: Chakma rights body says they face ‘uncertain, fragile’ future in Arunachal

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