GUWAHATI: The Chakma Development Foundation of India (CDFI) has petitioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat against the alleged racial profiling of 65,000 Chakmas and Hajongs in Arunachal Pradesh.
The foundation alleged the Arunachal government would carry out the exercise for these two communities from December 11 with the ultimate aim to drive them out of the state.
On December 1, the extra assistant commissioner (EAC) of Diyun circle had held a meeting with Chakma and Hajong leaders days after, what the CDFI claimed, the Changlang District Magistrate had notified the “Census of Chakmas and Hajongs 2021” at all Chakma and Hajong-inhabited areas of the district “for a report to be submitted to the government on or before December 31, 2021”.
On November 30, the EAC had issued a circular that read: “The Headmen of all Chakma-Hajong inhabited villages under Diyun Circle are requested to attend a meeting in the office chamber of the undersigned on 01st Dec' 2021 at 10:30 AM in connection with the special census on Chakma-Hajong vide government order…dated 26th Nov’ 2021.”
The CDFI said the census sought personal information such as bank account details, employment details and criminal cases pending including violations of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation etc.
“This exclusive census is an act of racial profiling as only the Chakmas and Hajongs are being singled out. Arunachal shares its borders with China and Myanmar from where illegal migration has been taking place since independence,” Suhas Chakma of the CDFI claimed.
Also claiming that the settlements of the illegal migrants are visible in most parts of the state’s Namsai, Lohit and Papumpare districts, he alleged the government was targeting only the Chakmas and the Hajongs in clear violations of the Constitution of India and the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination ratified by India.
Changlang DM, Devansh Yadav told this newspaper that no census was happening now.
“The (December 1) meeting was convened by the EAC, not to start a census but inform the villagers how the process will be executed if at all approved,” Yadav said.
He said the local groups had no issues and they would cooperate with the administration. Similar exercises happened in 2010 and 2015, he added.
The Chakmas and the Hajongs trace their roots to Bangladesh. Displaced by a dam in the then East Pakistan (present day Bangladesh), the Buddhist Chakmas and the Hindu Hajongs were resettled in Arunachal during 1964-69 by the central government.