Sarma refutes Rijiju’s comment on relocation of Chakma-Hajong refugees

[ Bengia Ajum ]

ITANAGAR, 24 Apr: In a major cause of embarrassment for the union minister of earth sciences Kiren Rijiju, the Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday denied that the Assam government had agreed to resettle Chakma-Hajong refugees in Assam. While campaigning in the state, Rijiju claimed that Chakma and Hajong would be resettled in Assam and that he had spoken to the Assam government and many other agencies.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Sarma said the government of India has not initiated any kind of conversation with the Assam government about the possibility of resettling Chakma and Hajong in the state. “Rijiju might have made the statement in the context of Arunachal politics. But neither the government of India nor Chakma-Hajong has contacted us in this regard. After the election I will speak to Kiren Rijiju on this issue,” said Sarma.

Earlier, Rijiju, seeking re-election from the Arunachal West parliamentary constituency while campaigning in the state, stated that efforts to resettle the two communities in Assam have been started.

“Assam will identify the places where to settle them. I spoke to the Assam CM and Assam government and sought their help. Union home minister Amit Shah also spoke to the Assam government to explore the possibility of resettlement,” Rijiju stated.

Meanwhile, several Assam-based organizations have strongly opposed the idea of resettlement of Chakma-Hajong in the state.