CHAKMA - HAJONG REFUGEE ISSUE
Itagar, Oct 29: The think tank of Aruchal Pradesh on Wednesday rejected outright the Supreme Court's verdict on September 17 last, directing the State government to grant Indian citizenship to Chakma-Hajong refugees within three months --- vowing to fight the issue tooth and il.
Participating at a day-long symposium – ‘Face To Face’ on the Chakma-Hajong refugee imbroglio held under the aegis of Aruchal Press Club (APC) here, State Chief Secretary Ramesh Negi stated that on October 26 last, the State government filed a review petition while Chief Minister bam Tuki discussed the issue with Prime Minister rendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajth Singh. The State government is against giving free access to Chakmas and Hajongs without ILP, Negi added.
'Without hearing the State government's counsel who was absent on the day of hearing, the Supreme Court passed the verdict,” said Negi, while insisting that the Aruchal government wants a permanent solution respecting the sentiments of indigenous people of the State.
Negi said that the country should have more consultations on any issue, including border issue or Chakma-Hajong issue, to arrive at a tangible solution.
Informing that the Aruchal government has already directed the DFOs to survey the forest areas encroached upon by the refugees, Negi said the Political department has documented the numbers of their population and land allotted to them.
Former parliamentarian and former All Aruchal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) president Takam Sanjoy charged successive Central governments with neglecting sentiments of the people in the frontier state.
“The refugees who want to stay in our house, instead of negotiating with the people of the State, have adopted unfair means of launching missiles through the Supreme Court and other intertiol bodies. This will not be tolerated by the peace-loving people of the State,” said Sanjoy.
Tracing the history of AAPSU's involvement in the anti-refugee movement, AAPSU founder-president and former minister, Eken Riba said, “In the early 1970s, these refugees were peaceful, not violent as they are today. They were not a cause of concern. We also thought these refugees would return to their homeland.”
“It wasn't easy to communicate in those days with that kind of topography and infrastructure,” said Riba while emphasizing that his team had apprised the then Chief Minister PK Thungon of the looming conflict with refugees over economic resources.
Riba, while stating that the past leaders could not conduct a proper study and follow-up of the issue, said, "Aruchal Pradesh alone should not be burdened with refugees. The country has to share the burden equally.”
Noted academician and political scientist, Professor ni Bath of Rajiv Gandhi University warned that the Tibetan refugee issue is a bigger threat than Chakma-Hajong refugees.
“Tibetan refugees are already controlling the economy in twin capital city and strategic township of Bomdila and township along Indo-Chi border,” said Professor Bath, who is also a member of the Core Committee of AAPSU on Chakma-Hajong refugee issue. He categorically stated that the AAPSU is not going to budge from the issue under any pressure.