ITANAGAR- Responding to statements of Union Minister Kiren Rijiju made after attending the Si-Donyi festival, the Arunachal Pradesh Chakma Students’ Union (APCSU) General Secretary, Supon Chakma in a press statement , stated that Chakmas and Hajongs of Arunachal Pradesh do not come under the ambit of Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 because the Government of India legally brought the Chakmas and Hajongs during 1964-1969 and settled them permanently under “Definite Plan of Rehabilitation”.
Under this plan, the Government of India in consultation with the then NEFA administration (now Arunachal Pradesh) allotted 5 acres of land permanently to each Chakma and Hajong Family and provided ration cards, jobs, gun license, business license, among others.
The press statement said that ” The Chakmas and Hajongs came to NEFA (now Arunachal Pradesh) much before the 31 December 2014 as cut off year of CAA and the Chakmas and Hajongs are governed by the Citizenship Act of 1955, not the CAA 2019 and hence they do not come under CAA”.
“The Government of India settled the Chakmas and Hajongs in the then centrally administered North East Frontier Agency (NEFA) along with ex-Assam Rifles for the defence of India, following the 1962 Indo-China war because this point of time was very crucial and critical for defending India’s sovereignty, and therefore once they were settled permanently, the matter ends there. Moreover, the honorable Supreme Court judgments on 9 January, 1996 and 17 September, 2015 directed Central government and state government to protect life and liberty under Article 21 of the India constitution and confer citizenship to around 14,888 Chakmas and Hajongs. Furthermore, majority of the Chakmas and Hajongs who born in Arunachal Pradesh during the period of nearly 60 years, are citizens by birth under Section 3 of the Citizenship Act and what is legally needed is to enroll them in voter list and provide them back all withdrawn facilities”, Supon said.
APCSU also always welcomed the CAA exempting some of the Northeastern States including Arunachal Pradesh so that no refugees intrude into Arunachal Pradesh after 2014 as cut off year as per the CAA and rights of the indigenous are protected under the CAA.
Responding to Union minister Kiren Rijiju’s statement “hamne message bhi diya hai Chakma-Hajong logo ki Aap alternative sochiye’, Drishyamuni Chakma, President of APCSU strongly opposed and condemned any such so called alternative or relocation outside Arunachal Pradesh because we have been living in Arunachal Pradesh for almost 6 decades i.e. 60 years and we have built our home and hearth. Arunachal Pradesh has become our motherland and relocating them outside is not acceptable and honorable solution to this vexed issue and any relocation shall add more fuel to fire and prolong sufferings in human history.
Reacting to China’s “renaming” of 15 places of Arunachal Pradesh, Drishyamuni said that we strongly condemn and oppose China’s illegal renaming of places as Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India and any illegal steps of China towards India’s sovereignty shall not be tolerated at any cost and we shall be every ready for defending our country’s integrity and sovereignty. We shall keep the promise to defend our mother India for which we were settled in 1964.