Arunachal: AAPSU claims Chakma-Hajong protests reek of ‘ulterior motives’
A group of Chakmas and Hajongs organised a protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi against racial profiling by the Arunachal Pradesh government on Tuesday

Itanagar: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has made it clear that its members and the people of Arunachal Pradesh, in general, have been rigorously voicing their strong objection to the arbitrary settling of Chakmas and Hajongs in the state.

Large-scale propaganda against the people of Arunachal Pradesh by the organizations and individuals associated with the refugees over the years and the recent protest at Jantar Mantar by Chakma groups is nothing new and only speaks of their ulterior motives, the union said in a statement today.

The union has never objected to providing basic facilities to the refugees as is being provided to the Tibetans staying in numerous camps across the state, the AAPSU said.

“Neither the state government nor anyone is violating any human rights of any individual or community. Leaders from the Chakma community should not mislead their community members, NHRC and the Centre. History is very much clear,” AAPSU president Hawa Bagang said.

Bagang said the Chakmas and Hajongs were settled in Arunachal Pradesh as “refugees” without the consent of the locals and the illegal entry of people from these communities over the years has greatly affected the socio-cultural structure of the state.

“How can refugees claim themselves as APST (Arunachal Pradesh Schedule Tribe) and what is the basis of their claim? The AAPSU strongly opposes any attempts of the refugees to permanently settle in our land and their demands for APST and citizenship status inside Arunachal Pradesh,” he said.

The AAPSU said both the Centre and the state governments had indicated resolution of the issue by relocating the refugees. The AAPSU will stand with the state government for the protection of the indigenous tribal communities, it added.

The union lamented that while the NHRC seeks the protection of the rights of the two refugee communities, it does not spare a thought about the rights of the indigenous tribes whose land and assets are being occupied by the refugees. “The refugees should refrain from citing the rights available to Indian citizens under the Constitution of India to fool the masses,” AAPSU general secretary Tobom Dai said.

“It is the right of the people of Arunachal Pradesh to know the exact numbers of Chakma-Hajong refugees living inside the state. There is a strong desire on our part for permanent resolution of the vexed refugee issue,” he said.

The AAPSU has been demanding such special census at regular intervals and the state government has taken the right decision in this regard, the union said and urged the government to go ahead with the special census without any further delay.

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