Chakmas, Hajongs petition Shah against cancellation of residential certificates by Arunachal govt

The Buddhist Chakmas and the Hindu Hajongs in Arunachal were displaced by a dam in the then East Pakistan (present day Bangladesh). They have a combined population of around 65000 in the state.

Published: 29th November 2022 06:01 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th November 2022 07:01 AM   |  A+A-

(Photo | Special Arrangement)

(Photo | Special Arrangement)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: Organisations representing Chakma and Hajong communities petitioned Union home minister Amit Shah on Tuesday against the recent cancellation of Residential Proof Certificates (RPCs) issued to the Chakmas and the Hajongs of Arunachal Pradesh by the state government and its directions for issuance of Temporary Settlement Certificates (TSCs) "for the purpose of education and job opportunities of Central government only".

In a memorandum submitted to Shah after staging a protest in New Delhi, the organisations said the TSCs were not serving the interests of people belonging to the two communities.

They said a number of Chakmas and Hajongs were recently selected for jobs in the Assam Rifles but the paramilitary force, through an order issued on November 23, notified "Temporary Residential Certificate not accepted as proof of domicile/permanent resident certificate" for joining the services.

"Only citizens of India qualify for central government jobs and therefore, it is the admitted position of Arunachal government that those to be issued TSCs are Indian citizens. As the Assam Rifles itself has rejected the temporary residential certificates for recruitment, it is obvious that the stated aims of issuing TSCs stand defeated. Therefore, the order issuing TSCs has to be withdrawn and RPCs ought to be issued," said Tejang Chakma, Delhi-NCR convenor of the Chakma Hajong Rights Alliance.

Rup Singh Chakma, who is the president of Arunachal Pradesh Chakma Students' Union, said any person staying in a place for about six months is considered an ordinary resident.

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"These Chakmas and Hajongs were born and brought up in Arunachal. A citizen living in his/her birthplace being issued TSC is unheard of under Indian laws and administrative practices," he said.

"The cancellation of the RPCs and the issuance of the TSCs are nothing but an act of racial discrimination. Other non-Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribes are not issued TSCs. The Chakmas and the Hajongs are being targeted because of their ethnic origin and descent," alleged Sumangal Chakma, convenor of the Arunachal Pradesh Chakma and Hajong Students' Association.

The RPCs were issued by Arunachal's Changlang district administration earlier this year but when the All Arunachal Pradesh Students' Union registered a protest, they were cancelled.

The Buddhist Chakmas and the Hindu Hajongs in Arunachal were displaced by a dam in the then East Pakistan (present day Bangladesh). They have a combined population of around 65000 in the state.

According to the leaders of the two communities, these people were resettled in Arunachal by the central government in 1964 to beef up security following the 1962 Indo-China war.


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