Unions demand deletion of refugees’ names from electoral rolls

ITANAGAR, Oct 30: The All Papum Pare District Students’ Union (APPDSU) has reiterated its demand for deletion of the names of Chakma and Hajong refugees from the electoral rolls of Doimukh, Chowkham, Bordumsa-Diyun and Miao assembly constituencies.
The APPDSU demanded that the state government immediately issue directives to the electoral registration officers (ERO) of “Chakma-Hajong affected” constituencies of Papum Pare, Changlang and Namsai districts to delete the names of the refugees from the electoral rolls, or issue a gazette notification/order to the 4800 Chakma-Hajongs refugees who have availed election voter cards to surrender their refugee cards along with the land allotted to them for temporary settlement on humanitarian ground, and any other privileges.
“These Chakma-Hajong refugees are illegally enjoying dual status of being citizens of India and refugees in Arunachal Pradesh,” the APPDSU said in a release, and threatened to launch a movement against the government if its demand is not taken seriously.
The union informed that the district-wise enrollment of Chakma and Hajong refugees in the electoral rolls till 2017 is: Papum Pare – 632, Namsai – 549, and Changlang – 4168.
It said the EROs of the four assembly constituencies are enrolling refugees in the electoral rolls in large numbers every year as per the directive of the Election Commission of India (ECI) and in the absence of any directive to the EROs to not enroll the names of the refugees.
The APPDSU alleged that the ruling state government has neither objected to the ECI against the enrollment of Chakma and Hajong refugees in the electoral rolls of Arunachal Pradesh nor issued any directive to the EROs to not enroll their names.
“Further, in 2017, the present state government eye-washed the citizens of Arunachal Pradesh by passing a resolution in the state assembly session against granting of citizenship rights
to Chakma-Hajong refugees in Arunachal Pradesh and by claiming that 4637 applications filed by Chakma-Hajong refugees for citizenship in the state were rejected altogether,” it added.
Meanwhile, the Doimukh Students’ Union (DSU) has lodged a complaint with the ERO of Balijan circle in Doimukh assembly constituency of Papum Pare district against enrollment of Chakma refugees in the electoral rolls.
In its complaint letter, the DSU stated that 90 Chakma refugees who have not been recognized as Indian citizens have been illegally enrolled in the electoral roll under Chakma Block No 3 in Kokila segment.
“Since the conferment of the Chakma and Hajong refugees as Indian citizenship is being challenged before the Supreme Court of India and the case is still pending, your office cannot violate the law and allow the Chakmas to be enrolled in the electoral rolls and give them the right of exercising their adult franchise,” it said.