ITANAGAR, Oct 9: Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) President Takam Sanjoy said that the state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was scared of convincing its party high command on the Chakma-Hajong and Tibetan refugees’ issue in the state.
“BJP say that the Congress party operates only under the party high command, but they are the ones who are scared of their leadership and are unable to place the demands of the indigenous people of the state at the centre”, said Sanjoy in a press briefing on Monday at the Congress Bhavan here.
Claiming that the BJP, particularly Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju have been harping that the Congress had settled the Chakma and Hajong refugees in the state, Sanjoy called for checking records from 1964-65.
“Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had made it clear that the Chakmas and Hajongs would only be given temporary refuge considering the fallout in Bangladesh on humanitarian grounds.
She had said that under no circumstances would they be given citizenship and they would have to go back some day”, Sanjoy said.
The Congress party chief said that the party in the state has already conveyed its opinion to the All India Congress Committee (AICC) that the state Congress party was against granting citizenship to Chakmas and Hajongs settled in Arunachal and informed that the AICC is clear on the decision taken by the state unit, but the state BJP was afraid of doing the same.
“We have enough laws passed by the British and Congress Government to safeguard indigenous rights, but the BJP wants to create instability and change the demography of the state. The ball is now in the court of the BJP governments at the state and centre”, Sanjoy said.
Also giving his inputs on the Chakma-Hajong citizenhip issue, Arunachal East Member of Parliament, Ninong Ering said that if the Government of India goes ahead and grants them citizenship, then they should be settled outside of Arunachal Pradesh.
On the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy (TRP) 2014, Sanjoy said that the TRP may be acceptable to Arunachal, but the party was completely against new locations, against new rehabilitation centres and trading licenses to foreigners.
He went on to claim that there is evidence that the Tibetans are misusing Permanent Resident Certificates and other documents, which in turn is causing suffering to the indigenous people, mostly Monpas and Sherdukpens.
Sanjoy also said that if 100 posts of Bodhi language teachers are to be created at all, then only indigenous tribal people like Monpas, Sherdukpens, Akas, etc should be recruited, and not Tibetans.
On the purported eviction of Tibetans from the Capital Complex by some organisations, Sanjoy said the Congress is not party to any such movement.
“Anybody taking law into their own hands without proper authorisation from the government would harm the indigenous population, and any movement should be under the ethics of democratic means”, he said.
Former Chief Minister Nabam Tuki also said that the Tibetans have not asked for citizenship as they are still fighting for a free Tibet, but providing them more would curtail the rights of the indigenous population.
Earlier, Meghalaya Rajya Sabha MP, Wansuk Siyem, who is also the Pradesh Returning Officer for Organizational Election, informed that the final report of the election for PCC President and AICC delegates have been sent to the AICC.