NEW DELHI, 22 Nov: Chakma and Hajong organisations on Tuesday condemned the cancellation of the residential proof certificates (RPC) issued to the Chakmas and Hajongs by the Arunachal Pradesh government.
The Changlang deputy commissioner, in an order dated 14 November, directed the local officials to cancel the RPCs and instead issue temporary settlement certificates (TSC) to the Chakmas and Hajongs.
“That Chakmas and Hajongs born in Arunachal Pradesh being issued temporary settlement certificates is completely illegal and smacks of vindictiveness of the state, based on racial ground. A person who lives in an area for six months is issued an ordinary residence certificate across the country, but in Arunachal Pradesh, after 60 years, the Chakmas and Hajongs, who are citizens of India, are being issued temporary settlement certificates. We condemn this act of discrimination,” said Chakma Hajong Rights Alliance convener Pritimoy Chakma.
“The entire process started with illegality and ended with illegality. On 11 July, 2022, a team of the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) visited the office of the extra assistant commissioner, Diyun, and inspected official records which under the law, a non state actor cannot perform. On 18 July, 2022, AAPSU submitted charter of demands to Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, including cancellation of the RPCs and booking the officials and local MLA under the National Security Act.
On 30 July, 2022, Arunachal Pradesh government issued a notification constituting a five-member committee chaired by secretary (food and civil supplies), including two members from AAPSU, to verify the RPCs. On 31 July, 2022, the government of Arunachal Pradesh suspended the issuance of fresh RPCs in Changlang district and now, altogether cancelled the RPCs,” Arunachal Pradesh Chakma Students Union president Rup Singh Chakma said.
“The entire process of cancellation of the RPCs shows that the state of Arunachal Pradesh is not governed by the rule of law. A non-state actor without jurisdiction inspected records, and the state government, instead of taking lawful actions against trespass into the government office, allowed the same non-state actor to inquire into its own allegations by exercising the sovereign powers of the state as part of the government appointed commission of inquiry and pronounce its judgment,” Committee for Citizens’ Rights of the Chakmas and Hajongs of Arunachal Pradesh president Santosh Chakma said.
“The action of the Arunachal Pradesh government on the RPC issue is a blatant violation of ‘sabka saath sabka vikas’ as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The time has come for Prime Minister Modi to hold his chief ministers for such blatant violation of ‘sabka saath sabka vikas,” Chakma Development Foundation of India founder Suhas Chakma said.