ITANAGAR- Hundreds of tribals belonging to Chakma and Hajong community on Saturday organised a peaceful yet massive protest at Diyun in Arunachal Pradesh’s Changlang district against the denial on issuance of Residential Proof Certificates (RPC) to the applicants of these communities, allegedly “as part of the state government’s policy to throw them out”.
According to the agitating tribals, on July 29, the state government suspended the RPCs already issued and asked the officials further not to issue any RPCs.
Krishna Chakma, spokesperson of the Chakma Hajong Rights Alliance, said that the denial of the RPCs is nothing but continuation of racial profiling of the Chakma and Hajong tribals.
“The first victim of the denial of the RPCs are job seekers and the students. They are citizens of India and often join recruitment in the army. The same is being denied through suspension of the RPCs as the recruitment drive into the Indian Army has started,” said Rup Singh Chakma, President of the Arunachal Pradesh Chakma Students Union (APCSU).
Another Chakma student leader Sumangol Chakma said that this is nothing but an attempt to deny the existence of the Chakmas and Hajongs in the state.
There are about 65,000 tribals belonging to Chakma and Hajong community in Arunachal Pradesh who fled from East Pakistan and were settled by the Central government in the then North East Frontier Agency (NEFA) in 1964 to beef up security following the 1962 Indo-China war.
Krishna Chakma said that though they are citizens, Arunachal Pradesh has been denying the same despite the Supreme Court directing to process the citizenship applications on January 9, 1996.
“Not a single application has been processed as on date but in 2021, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister announced to resettle the Chakma and Hajong tribals outside the state. The denial of the RPCs is a part of the same campaign,” Krishna Chakma said.