Arunachal will never accept Chakma-Hajong refugees: AAPSU

ITANAGAR, Apr 27: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has said the indigenous people of the state will never accept granting of citizenship rights to Chakma and Hajong refugees in Arunachal Pradesh.
After its members attended the 5th Joint High Powered Committee meeting on the refugee issue, the union on Friday issued a press statement in which it also demanded that there should be no fresh enrollment of Chakma and Hajong in the electoral rolls.
The meeting had been convened under the chairmanship of MHA Joint Secretary (NE) Satyendra Garg. It was attended by MHA Joint Secretary (Foreigners) Anil Malik, Arunachal Pradesh Home Secretary GS Meena, deputy commissioners, the principal chief conservator of forests, AAPSU executive members, legal advisors Nabam Jollaw and Marto Karto, and representatives of Chakma and Hajong organisations.
“We demand immediate deletion of all the names of Chakma and Hajong refugees enrolled in electoral rolls, since the Chakma and Hajong in Arunachal Pradesh are not citizens of India. Fresh enrollment should not be allowed till the matter of granting citizenship rights to them is not resolved,” the union stated in the release. AAPSU president Hawa Bagang cited the legal provisions of the country that protect the people of the state.
The union also expressed concern over the uncharacteristic rise in the population of the refugees, saying it is currently pegged at 3 lakhs.
Highlighting the criminal activities of the refugees, the union said that, as per the latest records, there are 493 cases registered against Chakma and Hajong refugees, adding that from 2011 to 2017, the number of cases registered against Chakma and Hajong has increased manifold, especially in reserved forest areas.
“The central government, in consultation with the Arunachal Pradesh government, must identify and verify the applicants who submitted applications for citizenship, as well as put on record all cases of criminal activities carried out by Chakma and Hajong refugees,” it said.
The AAPSU said the government should issue clear-cut instructions to the authorities of the districts concerned to not issue any kind of official document (PRC, TRC, LPC, birth certificate, etc) to Chakma and Hajong “without the prior approval of the state government,” adding that the government should “identify the original 57 Chakma families and identify who are Hajongs.
“Since the application for granting of citizenship is under consideration, the government must issue strict instructions to Chakma and Hajong to settle only in the designated refugee camp,” it said, adding that rampant deforestation of reserve forest areas and illegal hunting of rare species in such areas must be stopped and those involved in such cases punished as per the law.
“The government should immediately constitute a committee for hearing and verifying migrants with refugee cards who entered the state between 1964 and 1969, and who should be kept in designated camps/areas. The illegal migrants should be sent out of the state,” it said.
The AAPSU also demanded to know from the Centre whether the Chakma and Hajong are refugees, displaced people, or illegal migrants.
The union also said Chakma and Hajong students have formed an underground insurgent group – the Arunachal Pradesh Deprived People Forum – to terrorize the local indigenous people and Indians.
“Such groups should be banned and action should be initiated against them,” it said.