CDFI seeks PM, RSS’ intervention in census-taking of Chakmas, Hajongs in Arunachal, terms it racial profiling

NEW DELHI, 2 Dec: The Chakma Development Foundation of India (CDFI) has sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat against the census-taking of 65,000 Chakmas and Hajongs in Arunachal Pradesh with the aim to displace and expel them from the state.

“This exclusive census is an act of racial profiling as only the Chakmas and Hajongs are being singled out. Arunachal Pradesh shares borders with China and Myanmar, from where illegal migration of population has been taking place since independence. Further, illegal immigration and settlement of people without inner line permit (ILP) has been taking place regularly and their settlements are visible in most parts of Arunachal Pradesh, including Namsai, Lohit and Papum Pare districts. Yet, the state government is only targeting the Chakmas and Hajongs in clear violation of the Constitution of India and the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination ratified by India,” said CDFI founder Suhas Chakma.

“The Chakmas and Hajongs were settled by the union of India during 1964 to 1969 and therefore they never required ILP under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation of 1873. However, the government of Arunachal Pradesh is seeking information on the violations of the ILP from the Chakmas and Hajongs, who do not require it,” he said.

The CDFI urged the prime minister to “fulfil the responsibility of the central government towards the Chakmas and Hajongs in the state as they were settled there by the central government under a definite plan of rehabilitation after the 1962 India-China war.”

It said that the Arunachal government has “created such a situation that, in terms of social and political acceptance, the Chakmas and Hajongs are at the lowest rank, even after those who reside in the state without ILP. Therefore, it is the state government which has been preventing social integration of the Chakmas and Hajongs in the state and is currently creating law and order situation involving the Chakmas and Hajongs.”