PPA flays state govt, calls for high-level meeting on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill

ITANAGAR, May 16: The People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) has flayed the alleged lackadaisical attitude of the Pema Khandu led BJP government of the state on the issues of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and Chakma-Hajong and Tibetan refugees.
The party in its meeting held recently urged the state government to speak strongly against the bill which is against the interest of Arunachal Pradesh.
The state government must convene a meeting of all stakeholders including opposition parties (Indian National Congress, People’s Party of Arunachal Pradesh, etc), representatives from refugee affected areas, student unions, and subject experts from Rajiv Gandhi University or other institutions at the earliest to discuss the implications of the bill on Arunachal Pradesh, the party said.
The bill seeks to grant citizenship to people without valid documents from six minority communities – Hindus (including Hajongs, majority of who are Hindus), Sikhs, Buddhists (including Chakmas, majority of who are Buddhists), Jains, Parsis, and Christians – from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan after six years of residing in India.
The PPA opined that while the Tibetan refugees are excluded from the purview of the bill for now, but if passed, there is apprehension that the Tibetan refugees will be included in the bill in the coming years.
If Tibetan refugees start getting citizenship after staying in India for just six years, soon Arunachal Pradesh will be dominated by Tibetans and Chakma-Hajongs, the party observed.
Alleging that Chief Minister Pema Khandu is silent on this issue, the PPA further said “if he is silent even after being aware of the issue, the common public has no other option but to assume that Pema and his BJP led state government is indirectly sympathising with Chakma-Hajong and Tibetan refugees and is ready to welcome them to become bonafide citizens of Arunachal Pradesh.”
Taking a dig at the silence of All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) on the Tibetan refugee issue, PPA president Kahfa Bengia said, “The AAPSU should not raise voice against Chakma-Hajongs only; it should also raise voice against Tibetan refugees. AAPSU should realise that if given citizenship, Chakma-Hajongs will dominate eastern Arunachal and the Tibetan refugees will dominate western Arunachal. Besides that, the indigenous population will rapidly be reduced to minority and Arunachal Pradesh will become the next Tripura.”