Arunachal: Chakma, Hajong citizenship issue goes VIRAL in social Media

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The issue of granting of Indian citizenship to Chakma, Hajong refugees by Central Government is goes Viral in social Media. Hot discussion and debate on the issue is going on. Every one is commenting  and expressing their own views on the issue. several organisations and civil society in Arunachal Pradesh have been opposing citizenship to the Chakma and Hajong refugees saying it would change the demography of Arunachal Pradesh.

It must be mention here that the Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said on Wednesday ” the Centre will grant citizenship to all Chakma and Hajong refugees living in the north-east but ensure that the rights of indigenous people are not diluted” .

After this Statement the issue goes Viral in Social Media.

The  Chakma-Hajong refugee issue was discussed yesterday at a high level meeting convened by Union Home Minister  Rajnath Singh and attended by Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Union Minister of State for Home Rijiju and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval among others.

Addressing reporters after the meeting, Rijiju said a “middle ground” would be chosen so the 2015 Supreme Court order to grant citizenship to Chakma-Hajong refugees could be honoured and the rights of the local population not diluted. “Chakmas are settled in Arunachal Pradesh since 1964. But Schedule Tribe (ST) status and indigenous people’s rights won’t be diluted,” he said.

However several organisations and civil society in Arunachal Pradesh have been opposing citizenship to the Chakma and Hajong refugees saying it would change the demography of Arunachal Pradesh.

Chakmas and Hajongs were originally residents of the Chittagong Hill Tracts in erstwhile East Pakistan who left their homeland when it was submerged by the Kaptai dam project in the 1960s. The Chakmas, who are Buddhists, and Hajongs, who are Hindus, also allegedly faced religious persecution and entered India through the then Lushai Hills district of Assam (now Mizoram).The Centre moved the majority of them to the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA), which is now Arunachal Pradesh.

According to officials, the number of these refugees has increased from about 5,000 in 1964-69 to 1,00,000. At present, they don’t have citizenship and land rights but are provided basic amenities by the state government. In 2015, the Centre was directed by the Supreme Court to confer citizenship to these refugees. The Arunachal Pradesh government approached the apex court to review its order but in vain. After the Supreme Court’s rejection, both the central and state governments have started consultations to find a solution to the issue.

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