Students demand deletion of refugees from electoral roll

NAMSAI, Dec 29: The All Namsai District Students’ Union (ANDSU) in a representation to the district election officer (DEO) here on Friday demanded immediate deletion of Chakma voters’ names from the electoral roll of the Chongkham assembly constituency.
In its representation, the ANDSU stated that names of 514 Chakma persons were enrolled in the electoral roll of the Chongkham assembly constituency ‘in violation of the laws and judgment.’
The union expressed opposition to the inclusion of the names of Chakma voters in the electoral roll on the ground that they are illegal migrants of erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), and were declared foreigners by the Gauhati High Court in 1992, which was later upheld by the apex court in 1993.
‘Once the Chakmas were declared foreigners, they are ineligible to be included in the electoral rolls under Section 16 (1) (a) of the Representation of the People Act, 1950, Section 107 (1) (a) of the Arunachal Pradesh Panchayat Raj Act, 1997, and Rule 9 (1) (a) of the Arunachal Pradesh Panchayat Raj (Preparation of Electoral Roll) Rules, 2002,’ the representation stated.
It also said that SLPs filed by the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union and the state government after the Supreme Court had directed the central and the state governments to grant citizenship to Chakmas and Hajongs residing in the state are still pending with court for hearing.
Further, the verification of the 4637 Chakma and Hajong persons who have applied for citizenship is still under process, and the PIL filed by one Amal Kumar Chakma and eight others for inclusion of names of Chakmas and Hajongs in the electoral roll is also pending with the Itanagar permanent bench of the Gauhati High Court.