ITANAGAR: Union Minister Kiren Rijiju today said the Arunachal Pradesh government should "appeal" to the Supreme Court against its September 17 order to protect the legal and demographic safeguards of the indigenous people of the state.
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju convened a meeting of the ministry's officials to discuss the judgement of the court in the case CRCAP Vs State of Arunachal Pradesh. "Arunachal Pradesh government should appeal before the Supreme Court effectively against the order of September 17 to protect the legal and demographic safeguards of the indigenous people of the state," Rijiju said during the meeting.
The apex Court had directed the state government and the Centre to finalize the conferment of citizenship rights on the eligible Chakmas and Hajongs and also to ensure compliance of the direction within three months. Rijiju has asked the Ministry's North East Division to seek reports from Arunachal Pradesh government to respond to the court's direction and to obtain the reports of State Level Core Committee headed by Secretary (Political) of the state government in which All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) and other representatives are members, an official communiqué said.
The minister also stressed that while Supreme Court order has to be complied with, the rights of the indigenous people of Arunachal Pradesh also should not be overlooked. He said that while Chakmas and Hajongs suffered for a very long period and deserved the citizenship status, their inclusion as Arunachal Pradesh Schedule Tribes will dilute the constitutional safeguards of state’s indigenous people.
"It was historically wrong to settle them inside the territory of NEFA (now Arunachal Pradesh) without the consent of the local people."
"There are other parts in the country where Chakmas and Hajongs are already citizens and therefore a mechanism must be worked out where Arunachal Pradesh does not take extra burden of the large numbers of Chakmas and Hajongs," Rijiju said.