ITANAGAR, Oct 3: The Movement for Unified Multifaceted Knowledge Interacting Network (MUMKIN) today suggested the state government to set up an independent board or commission with legal experts to tackle the vexed Chakma-Hajong citizenship issue.
Addressing a press conference at Arunachal Press Club here, MUMKIN chairman Tadar Niglar expressed his apprehension that the initiatives taken so far by the state government and the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union will not bear any positive result because they are not presenting their respective cases efficiently at appropriate platforms.
Niglar suggested that instead of the state government fighting the vexed issue in an on and off mode; it should set up an independent board or commission having functional and financial powers.
The proposed commission or the board will take up the issue at national and international platform consistently for a reasonable solution which is acceptable to the indigenous people, he added.
Also, citing the population of Chakma-Hajong refugees in some Eastern belts of the state which exceeds the population of indigenous people, and also the unreserved seat of Diyun assembly segment, Niglar said that the fight should not only be against the permanent residency of the refugees but their citizenship in India as a whole.
Further, stating that the state government has made blunders in the first place by allowing them to settle here as refugees, the MUMKIN chairman claimed that Chakmas and Hajongs do not even fall under the refugee category as per the definition of refugee given by Geneva Convention of United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in 1951, and that they are actually illegal immigrants.
Also citing the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord, 1997, Niglar stated that the state government should pressurize the Indian government to capitalize on its elevated status in international platforms and have a dialogue with the Bangladesh government to take the Chakma-Hajong population back.
The accord allowed for the recognition of the rights of the peoples and tribes of the Chittagong Hill Tracts region which ended the decades-long insurgency between the ShantiBahini and government forces in Bangladesh.
The MUMKIN chairman also suggested restricting the Chakma and Hajong refugees within the original camps allotted to them during 1964-1969 till final solution to the vexed issue.