Refugees and indigenous people

Once again the Chakma-Hajong refugee issue has come to the fore with the recent meeting in Itanagar between the Joint High Powered Committee and representatives from the union home affairs ministry, the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union, and Chakma and Hajong organizations.
The AAPSU on its part has reiterated that the indigenous people of the state will never accept granting of citizenship rights to Chakma and Hajong refugees in Arunachal Pradesh.
In September 2015, the Supreme Court, responding to a petition by the Committee for Citizenship Rights of the Chakmas had directed that citizenship rights be granted to the refugees within three months. Two years later, the Centre decided that a middle ground had to be chosen to ensure that the rights of the refugees and the indigenous population are not compromised. Obviously, the decision of the Centre backfired as Arunachal witnessed massive protests against the verdict which had included citizenship rights for the refugees.
Since then the issue has not been broached. With the recent meeting, there is bound to be renewed debate. Constitutionally, the indigenous people of Arunachal are protected, so for a non-indigenous person to claim rights would be in contradiction to the laid down provisions.
Though the Chakma and Hajong refugees deserve all the facilities from the state as well as the Centre, the state and the Centre must respect various constitutional provisions guaranteed to the indigenous people of the state.