PMO intervenes in state govt’s exclusive census of Chakmas & Hajongs

ITANAGAR, 11 Dec: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has registered a complaint filed by the Chakma Development Foundation of India (CDFI) against racial profiling of the Chakmas and Hajongs in Arunachal through an exclusive census of both the communities from 11 to 31 December 2021, which the CDFI said, “is a violation of right to life, including the right to privacy and the right to equality.”

In its letter on 7 December, the PMO has directed the chief secretary of Arunachal for appropriate action against the complaint and inform on the matter, the CDFI said in a release.

The CDFI had filed the complaint on 2 December.

There are about 65,000 Chakmas and Hajongs in Arunachal, out of which about 4,500 are migrants of 1964 to 1969. The rest are the descendants and citizens by birth under Section 3 of the Citizenship Act of 1955.

On 26 November this year, the Changlang deputy commissioner notified “Census of Chakmas and Hajongs 2021” to be conducted from 11 December and completed on or before 31 December, 2021.

The exclusive census has since been denied by the deputy commissioner himself contrary to the orders issued by him and his subordinates, it said.

The CDFI had termed the exclusive census of the Chakmas and Hajongs only in the state as an act of racial profiling.

“There is no census on the illegal immigrants from Myanmar and China, the illegal immigrants who had entered through Assam as well as thousands of people who had entered Arunachal without inner line permit (ILP),” the CDFI said. It further stated that the Chakmas and Hajongs were settled permanently in the state by the Union of India during 1964 to 1969 and they do not require ILP.

“The Government of India seeks solution to the Chakma-Hajong issues arising out of non-implementation of the Supreme Court judgments, denial of the Panchayati Raj, denial of most government schemes, including food security and prohibition on employment, including as general candidates. This attempt to find a solution is not a license for committing more grave human rights violations,” said CDFI founder Suhas Chakma.