ARUNACHAL NEWS

Citizenship for refugees unacceptable: AAPSU

Our Correspondent
ITANAGAR, June 18: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has made it clear that the union and the indigenous people will never accept granting of citizenship rights to the Chakmas and Hajongs residing in the State.

AAPSU president Hawa Bagang, during a meeting with the representatives of Chakma and Hajong refugees at Diyun in Changlang district on Sunday, reiterated its stand on the issue.

Currently, a team of the apex students’ body of the State is on a five-day tour to the Chakma-Hajong affected areas in eastern Arunachal Pradesh districts to take stock of the ‘ground realities’ as well as to take views of the indigenous people and the refugees.

Bagang stated that the movement for removal of refugees is to protect the indigenous people of the state, while pointing that the ‘ever-rising’ population of Chakma-Hajong communities is a ‘question of survival of the State’s indigenous people’. He also said, they should stop criminal activities and atrocities committed against the indigenous people, a communiqué from the union said here on Monday.

AAPSU general secretary Tobom Dai said the Chakma-Hajongs ‘should not demand for the rights of the indigenous people of the State’. He stated that the Centre is granting citizenship rights to Chakma and Hajongs in other Indian states and it is a ‘golden opportunity’ for the refugees to get citizenship rights but they have to leave the State.

“Or else the Chakma and Hajongs should live here after regulated identification of the migrants who were brought in 1964-69 in designated area as refugees,” he added.

General secretary of the Committee for Citizenship Rights of the Chakmas and Hajongs of Arunachal Pradesh (CCRCHAP) Santosh Chakma stated that they want to live as citizens of the country and would also cooperate to distinguish the refugees who were brought in 1964-69 with the other illegal migrants.

Bagang suggested that the AAPSU would apprise the State government to provide all basic facilities in a designated area to Chakma and Hajongs as refugees but they should not demand citizenship rights, and the Chakma and Hajong representatives should give a clear identification of the migrants who were brought in by the Centre and illegal migrants and all illegal migrants have to leave the State. On Saturday, the AAPSU leadership had conducted a meeting at Namsai with all the stakeholders to draw opinions on the vexed Chakma-Hajong refugee issue.

Taking serious note of ‘rapid rise’ in infiltration by Chakma-Hajongs on daily basis threatening to change the State’s demography, besides indulging in other unlawful activities like, encroachment of forest and private land by the refugees, the meeting was of the view that the State government has consistently failed to address the grievances and demands of indigenous people since many years and that it take measures to stop the influx of the Chakma-Hajongs and distinguish legal migrants who were brought in 1964 with other illegal migrants.

It also decided to move the government to appoint monitoring officers to look into the Chakma and Hajong refugees, and to initiate for register of all Chakma and Hajong families and proper cards should be issued, the communiqué added.