Chakma body terms census-taking ‘racial profiling’, seeks DCM’s intervention

ITANAGAR, 18 Oct: Prior to Deputy Chief Minister (DCM) Chowna Mein’s scheduled visit to Diyun in Changlang district on 19 October, the Chakma Development Foundation of India (CDFI) on Monday urged him to “intervene against racial profiling of the Chakmas in Arunachal Pradesh by conducting illegal and unconstitutional census of only the Chakmas in the state.”

In a press release, the CDFI stated that the officials of the state government have been taking the census of only the Chakmas in Changlang district. “In this regard, the Bordumsa ADC has written a letter dated 1 October, 2021 to the village headmen of Bijoypur-I, -II and -III in Bordumsa subdivision to submit ‘a self-declared population detail of their respective villages with original and migrated settlers in the specimen format’ in order to ‘prepare a consolidated data of all Chakma people residing in Bordumsa division,'” it said.

“Conducting census of only the Chakmas is nothing but an act of racial profiling in clear violation of Article 14 of the constitution of India and the international convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination ratified by India,” CDFI founder Suhas Chakma said.

“The Chakmas of Arunachal Pradesh are citizens of India, even though their citizenship applications have not been processed in the last 25 years in contempt of the Supreme Court judgments, while those who are citizens by birth under the Citizenship Act, 1955 are not included into the electoral rolls. There is no law or logic to conduct census of only one community,” he said.

The CDFI said that “if the state of Arunachal Pradesh wants to conduct a census, it must conduct for the entire state for all, irrespective of caste, creed or religion. But the decision to conduct census of only the Chakmas is illegal and unconstitutional and amounts to racial profiling.”

The Chakma body said it has also sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Chief Minister Pema Khandu and RSS sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagat in this regard.