ITANAGAR, 3 Jul: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) on Saturday demanded that the state government constitute an “intermittent high-power committee” to resolve the Chakma-Hajong illegal settlers issue in Lohit, Changlang and Namsai districts.
The AAPSU’s demand comes following the violence in Kathan village in Wakro circle of Lohit district, where the local residents were allegedly attacked by illegal Chakma settlers over a land issue on 16 June, 2021. However, the Chakmas have refuted the allegation.
Addressing media persons, AAPSU general secretary Tobom Dai said that human rights organizations and some government bodies, including the Election Commission in New Delhi, are overlooking the plight of
the indigenous people who are being subjected to demographic changes and criminal activities by illegal Chakma settlers.
“The government bodies, including the Election Commission, are seeing only the other side of the coin, ignoring the plight of the indigenous people, demographic changes and the suffering of the indigenous people from criminal activities of Chakma refugees,” said Dai.
“So many national human rights organizations are there, sitting in New Delhi, who do not know the ground reality, favouring the Chakma-Hajong refugees” he added.
The AAPSU GS claimed that Chakmas and Hajongs are coming out of their allotted blocks and encroaching on indigenous lands, taking undue advantage of the lingering issue and the unclear inter-district boundaries of Changlang, Lohit and Namsai districts. Dai demanded that the government demarcate the inter-district boundaries and enumerate the Chakma-Hajong population immediately, so that they could be confined to their allotted blocks.
“The census of Chakmas has to be done; it is unfortunate that the state government does not have correct data on the population of Chakma-Hajong. They have to be governed and regulated and confined to their settlement blocks,” Dai stated, reiterating that the AAPSU has been demanding deportation of Chakma-Hajong refugees.
All Mishmi Students’ Union (AMSU) president Asingdo Mithi, who accompanied the AAPSU team at the press conference, claimed that Chakmas are not only encroaching on land but also creating law and order problems in the area.
“They are using ultras and underground elements like the NSCN (IM) to intimidate the locals and indigenous people,” Mithi claimed.
He added that the local people suspect the involvement of Chakma underground elements in the disappearance of prominent local leader Balijan Chikro, of Wakro circle, since last year. He said that Chikro went missing mysteriously last year and a special investigation team is investigating the case.
The AMSU president demanded expediting the investigation into the disappearance of Chikro.
Mithi further informed that the AMSU has temporarily called off its proposed bandh call on 6 July, following the constituting of an inter-district boundary demarcation committee by the state government on Friday. The AMSU had announced a bandh call on 6 July, demanding immediate dismantling of illegal structures constructed by the Chakmas on Mishmi land, and eviction of illegal Chakma settlers.
The state government constituted the inter-district boundary demarcation committee with the divisional commissioner (east) as its chairman and the deputy commissioners of Lohit and Changlang as members.
The committee will carry out demarcation of the inter-district boundary between Lohit and Changlang districts as per the joint survey report dated 9 March, 2021. The committee shall submit a report along with a geotagged map of the inter-district boundary as demarcated within one month to the government.