ITANAGAR, Jan 8: The state assembly was informed on Wednesday that 5097 of the total 65,875 Chakmas and Hajongs have voting rights in the state.
This data is based on the special survey conducted by the deputy commissioners of Changlang, Namsai and Papum Pare districts in 2015-16.
The total population of the Tibetan refugees in the state is 7072.
However, MLA Wangling Lowangdong pointed out that different NGOs and departments that carried out the census have quoted different figures, and asked whether an actual census was carried out to ascertain the exact population of the Chakmas and the Hajongs in the state.
The Committee for Citizenship Rights of the Chakmas & Hajongs of Arunachal Pradesh’s population survey of 2012 indicates that the population of Chakmas and Hajongs is 54,203.
Lowangdong also asked whether the state government was aware that “the Chakmas and Hajongs are contemplating or have already moved petition to the Supreme Court to pass necessary and relevant orders claiming themselves as native tribal citizens of the state, and the inner line pass would not be applicable to the Chakmas and Hajongs settled in the state.”
Chief Minister Pema Khandu informed that the matter of their citizenship is subjudice in the Supreme Court. He said the state government had submitted a special leave petition on 14 September, 2016, which has been accepted and awaits hearing.
Responding to Lowangdong on the alleged “massive illegal felling and encroachment of forest land being carried out by the Chakmas and Hajongs in Changlang district,” Khandu said a meeting has been scheduled for 10 January with the forest department and the principal chief conservator of forests, and gave assurance that the matter would be discussed in the meeting and action initiated as per rule.