GUWAHATI: Mizoram’s Chakma leaders and politicians, cutting across party lines, lodged a complaint with Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging that the state government was conducting an “illegal NRC” (National Register of Citizens) in the state.
The Chakma leaders, led by Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC) chief executive member Rashik Mohan Chakma, BJP MLA Dr Buddha Dhan Chakma, former Minister and BJP national council member Nirupam Chakma, besides the other Chakma NGOs, submitted a joint representation to Modi alleging that in order to identify alleged foreigners, the Mizo National Front government was targeting only the Chakma minorities.
They said the survey had been conducted in at least 14 Chakma-inhabited villages within Lunglei district. No such survey was conducted in any Mizo-inhabited area, they claimed.
The Chakma leaders said that the district local administration officer, Lunglei, had issued a notice to the presidents of the village councils on February 13 asking them to participate in the illegal NRC “under the garb of verification and identification of unauthorized settlements”.
“Hundreds of Chakma villagers had to stand in the queue and fill up the proforma for identification of recent settlers within Mizoram and verification of their nationality and provide their proof of citizenship documents like Voter ID, Aadhaar card, educational certificates and information on past residential addresses etc along with the duly filled in survey form. Worst, the poor Chakma villagers had to provide food, accommodation and translators to the officials,” the Chakma leaders wrote in the representation to Modi.
According to them, the form for the survey has six more questions that were not included in the Assam NRC which includes - the place of birth, religion, brief history and names of villages last settled with their period of stay, permanent address in the native country, physical features of the surveyee like height, colour of hair and eyes and distinguishing marks, and ground/basis of inclusion in the voter list as per Form 6 by Electoral Registration Officer and Assistant Electoral Registration Officer.
“The identification and detection of foreigners is being conducted only for the Chakmas and in Chakma-inhabited villages…It is nothing but racial profiling of the Chakmas on the basis of their ethnicity and religion…” the Chakma leaders wrote.
They urged Modi to stand by his declaration at Ramlila ground in Delhi on December 22 last year that ever since his government came to power in 2014 “there has been no discussion on NRC anywhere”. They further urged him to immediately intervene in the matter by asking the Mizoram government to stop the illegal NRC, issue a notification stating that no state government/UT administration must conduct any NRC and/or NRC-like survey/exercise for identification of alleged foreigners and ask Mizoram government not to use the data/documents obtained during the illegal NRC for any purpose.
They demanded the Centre send a high-level team to investigate the matter.