Lay out practical roadmap on resettlement of Chakma refugees

During the Independence Day celebration, Chief Minister Pema Khandu announced that all illegal immigrant Chakmas will be moved and settled in some other places with honour, as per the constitution.

The CM also said the centre and state governments together will work to resolve this long pending issue. It is encouraging to hear that the state government is serious about resolving the refugee issue but the statement lacked clarity.

The CM should lay out the plan on how they are going to address this issue to the public so that people of state remain informed and updated.

As the population of Chakma-Hajong refugees grow, the conflict between refugee settlers and indigenous tribal communities are growing.

The recent clash between Mishmi and refugee settlers at Katan in Lohit serves as a reminder of the dangers. The conflict over resources- land in particular – will grow. Further, the indigenous communities feel threatened by a massive surge in the population of settlers. Already in places like Diyun in Changlang district, the refugees have become the majority.

Will the Chakmas and Hajongs, who have illegally settled in the reserve forests of Lohit and Changlang districts be moved out and settled in some other states? Will the government be able to convince them to move out? These are questions which the state will have to answer. This is a very sensitive issue.

The state government should hold consultations with all the stakeholders before initiating any steps in coordination with the central government to resolve the Chakma-Hajong refugee issue. Hopefully, in the coming months, CM Khandu will lay a road map on the refugee issue so that the people of Arunachal have a better idea of the intention of the government.