Chakmas stage protest at Jantar Mantar against ‘racial profiling’ by GoAP

New Delhi: The Arunachal Pradesh Chakma Students Union (APCSU) on Tuesday staged a protest at the Jantar Mantar here against the alleged racial profiling of Chakmas and Hajongs in Arunachal Pradesh through an exclusive census of both the communities.

The protest comes on the day when a training of government enumerators is scheduled to be conducted at Diyun in Changlang district to carry out the census.

APCSU president Rup Singh Chakma said the Chakmas and Hajongs will not cooperate or take part in any census being taken on them.

“The state government officials are trying to conduct an illegal census and the training of the enumerators is supposed to be held at Diyun today. This is in clear violation of the directions of the National Human Rights Commission. We shall not participate in any such illegal census,” Rup said.

The NHRC had in January this year directed the Ministry of Home Affairs and Arunachal Pradesh government to submit an action taken report within 6 weeks against the alleged racial profiling and relocation of the Chakmas and Hajongs from the state.

It had also directed both the authorities to ensure that human rights of the two communities are protected by all the ways.

Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu had on August 15 last year announced that the Chakmas and Hajongs would be settled outside the state.

The protest at the national capital was also joined by members of the Committee for Citizenship Rights of the Chakmas and Hajongs of Arunachal Pradesh (CCRHCAP), Arunachal Pradesh Chakma and Hajong Students Association (APCHSA) and the Chakma Development Foundation of India (CDFI).

CCRHCAP general secretary Santosh Chakma said the Chakmas and Hajongs who had migrated to India during 1964-1969 are citizens of the country as per the Indira-Mujib Accord of 1972 and Section 5(1) of the Citizenship Act of 1955.

He said those who are born in India are citizens by birth too.

“The government of Arunachal Pradesh instead of implementing the Supreme Court’s 1966 judgment in the case of the NHRC Vs State of Arunachal Pradesh has started their racial profiling to keep the pot boiling,” Santosh said.

CDFI founder Suhas Chakma said there is no law in India which can make particular citizens to stand in the queue for census solely based on their ethnic origin and the same is prohibited by Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

“By seeking to conduct this special census, the state of Arunachal Pradesh is destroying the communal harmony and cordial relation between the Chakmas and Hajongs and other communities. There is a need for immediate intervention from the Union home minister to bring some sanity to this,” Suhas said.

The protestors later also submitted a memorandum to Union Home Minister Amit Shah demanding an immediate halt of the ongoing census and “bringing an end to the repression on the Chakmas and Hajongs through racial profiling.”

Proper implementation of the Supreme Court judgment on the conferment of citizenship and compliance with the directions of the NHRC were the other demands placed in front of the home minister by the protestors.

AAPSU reacts to protest:

The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has termed the protest as an “attempt to derail a routine government exercise and foster misinformation in public domain.”

“The Arunachal Pradesh government’s purported move to ascertain the exact census of the Chakma and Hajong community is a welcome move. The Chakmas and Hajongs living in the state should stop acting like a privileged group and think that every government policy should toe their line of liking,” AAPSU general secretary Tobom Dai said.

Dai said the people of Arunachal are eagerly looking forward to the day when the Chakma Hajong community will be relocated from the state under the ambit of the Indian Constitution as announced earlier by chief minister Khandu and Union law minister Kiren Rijiju.

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