A group of Chakmas and Hajongs led by Arunachal Pradesh Chakma Students Union (APCSU), 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) together on Tuesday organised a protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi against racial profiling by Arunachal Pradesh government through a special census only for them.
On August 15, 2021, Arunachal Chief Minister Pema Khandu had announced that the Chakmas and Hajongs, who were settled in the state 60 years ago, will be relocated outside the state. The training of the government enumerators was scheduled to begin at Diyun under Changlang district on Tuesday, April 5, 2022.
The protestors 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 24.01.2022, 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,” stated Rup Singh Chakma, president of the APCSU.
“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 NHRC Vs State of Arunachal Pradesh of 1966 to confer citizenship and enrolling the Chakmas and Hajongs into electoral rolls, had 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 targeting, the state of Arunachal Pradesh is destroying the communal harmony and cordial relations between the Chakmas and Hajongs in one hand and the other communities. There is need for immediate intervention from the Home Minister to bring some sanity to this organised targeting of the worst victims of the descendants of Partition of India,” said Suhas Chakma, while addressing the protest.
In their memorandum to Home Minister Amit Shah, they demanded immediate abandonment of the ongoing process of illegal census of only the Chakma and Hajong people and bring an end to the repression of the Chakmas and Hajongs through racial profiling, proper implementation of the Supreme Court judgments on the conferment of citizenship and compliance with the directions of the NHRC.
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