GUWAHATI, Sept 24 - Arunachal Pradesh Chakma- Hajong Democratic Rights Forum (APCHDRF) has vehemently condemned the statements made by Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju and All Arunachal Pradesh Students� Union (AAPSU) as attempts at distorting the facts and spreading falsehood in respect of Chakmas and Hajongs staying in Arunachal Pradesh.
In a statement, the APCHDRF has alleged that both the Union Minister and AAPSU are trying project the Chakmas as monsters, despite the historical facts stating that the Union Government had brought 14,888 Chakmas and Hajongs to India between 1964-1969 and settled them in Arunachal Pradesh. These Chakmas and Hajongs have valid migration certificates and the Union Government wanted to settle them permanently in Arunachal Pradesh (erstwhile NEFA).
Incidentally, in 1962, there was an Indo-China War and hence Indian Government rehabilitated them in Arunachal Pradesh for their historical loyalty towards India. Each family was accorded with five acres of land and few of their educated people were given Government employment.
Late Udanga Moni Chakma, who had served as Deputy Commissioner and Resident Commissioner of Government of Arunachal Pradesh, was among these migrants. They enjoyed all rights and facilities at par with the locals till 1980s and were entitled to PDS facilities and trade licences till 1990s. But, thereafter, all the facilities were withdrawn one after another in a systematic and planned manner by the Government of Arunachal Pradesh.
Rijiju is fully aware of the fact that the Chakmas and the Hajongs together had a population of 47,471 during the 2011 census. There is a systematic attempt at overstating this figure relating to their population as exceeding one lakh. Rijiju has further alleged that if one lakh population is granted citizenship, the local tribes will become minority. The APCHDRF states that their surrounding local people are the Singphos, Khamtis and Tangsas. The Singphos and Khamtis are also Buddhists by religion. The Chakmas are having very cordial relationship with them, including inter-tribe matrimonial relationship.
It may be mentioned that during 1997 to 2004 only 4,627citizenship applications were filed with the Central Government by Chakmas and Hajongs in accordance with a 1996 Supreme Court judgment. However, the said applications had not been processed even after two decades and hence the Supreme Court had in 2015 directed the State as well as the Central Government to process these applications in a time bound manner.
But, Rijiju, who is from Arunachal Pradesh, with a malafide intention and vested interest, is creating a hype as if the Government of India is granting citizenship to more than a lakh of Chakmas and Hajongs in order to provoke widespread protests and objections with a design to mislead the Apex Court and thus justifying the act of not processing the 4,627 applications of the Chakmas and Hajongs for granting citizenship.
Even out of the 4,671 applicants, who have migrated and are required to apply for citizenship in terms of Section 5 of the Citizenship Act, more than 60 per cent of the applicants have already expired.
As per data available with APCHDRF as on date only 6,087 people out of 14,888 migrants are alive and rest of the population (that is 47,471 � 6087 = 41,384) have already acquired citizenship by birth as per the Citizenship Act of 1955.
Therefore, it is nothing but a ploy to avoid compliance of the Supreme Court order which has directed the Chief Secretary of Arunachal Pradesh to remain present in the court in the event its direction is not complied within December 12 next. The APCHDRF, states that in a similar manner AAPSU is playing politics by raking up the Chakma-Hajong issue to remain in the limelight, according to the statement.