ITANAGAR, Sept 16 - In the wake of Centre�s reported decision to grant citizenship to Chakma and Hajong refugees residing in Arunachal Pradesh, the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) and the State�s apex student organisation, AAPSU, have slammed the BJP-led NDA Government�s move, with the student body cautioning that any attempt to undermine the indigenous peoples� rights would trigger a social unrest in the State.
The Congress has demanded the Centre to revive the Joint High Powered Standing Committee on Chakma-Hajong refugee issue constituted during the UPA-II regime.
Addressing a press conference here at Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan APCC president Takam Sanjoy while criticising Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju for putting the blame on the Congress party for giving settlement to Chakma and Hajong refugees in the State, said the Congress never granted citizenship to the refugees.
�During 1964, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi gave temporary settlement to the Chakmas and Hajongs, who were displaced from Bangladesh(erstwhile East Pakistan), on humanitarian grounds but there is no written document of the Indira-Mujibur pact as alleged by Rijiju,� he said.
Sanjoy added that in 1964, Arunachal Pradesh was not a full-fledged State but was known as North East Frontier Agency and was under the control of External Affairs Ministry.
He also criticised the State Government for failing to circulate the minutes of the all-party meeting on Chakma and Hajong issue even after two months.
On the other hand, the All Arunachal Pradesh Students� Union while vowing to fight against any move of granting of citizenship to Chakma and Hajongs in Arunachal tooth and nail, said that the AAPSU, which has been spearheading the movement on refugee issue since last many decades, will not bow down in any case for the welfare of indigenous people of the State.
AAPSU general secretary Tobom Dai said: �Such a decision is going to adversely affect the rights of the indigenous people.�
PTI adds: Meanwhile, Arunachal Pradesh Government today asked the opposition Congress to stop politicising the Chakma-Hajong refugee issue and to work together for a logical solution.
�It is time that all political parties should join hands for a solution to the vexed issue,� State Government spokesman Passang Dorjee Sona told a press conference. He also urged the Congress to work with the State Government for a result instead of giving the issue a political colour.
Sona said Chief Minister Pema Khandu has informed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju that granting citizenship to Chakma-Hajong refugees would distort social fabric of the State.
�The government had earlier filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court and another SLP filed by the AAPSU was pending in the court,� he said.
To a question on the Tibetan Refugee Rehabilitation Policy, Sona said the State Government has made it clear to the Union Home Ministry that the policy would be implemented but the interest of the indigenous people should not be hampered.
�The government will provide the basic facilities to the Tibetans living in the State in their respective settlements on humanitarian ground which will not affect the indigenous population at any cost,� he added.