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Kiren Rijiju speaks on Chakma-Hajong Issue

First Published: 7th January, 2022 19:42 IST

Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju has stated that the coming of the Citizenship Amendment Act does not imply that the Chakma-Hajong community will be considered as Tribals of Arunachal Pradesh.

Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju has stated that the coming of the Citizenship Amendment Act does not imply that the Chakma-Hajong community will be considered as Tribals of Arunachal Pradesh.

Speaking to reporters on January 6th, Rijiju stated that the CAA has given protection to the tribal communities of Arunachal Pradesh and that Home Minister Amit Shah has given a message on their settlement outside the State.

Rijiju said that when CAA was introduced Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah had clearly mentioned that it will not be applicable to the ‘Tribal States’. He added that the Chakma Hajongs have already been asked to look for alternatives. He also mentioned that a plan has been proposed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah to settle the Chakama- Hajong issue and hoped that all stakeholders will cooperate with it.

Reacting to Rijiju’s statement the Chakma Development Foundation of India has urged Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju not to misinterpret the Citizenship Amendment Act with respect to the Chakmas and Hajongs who had settled in Arunachal Pradesh.

The CDFI also called upon Union Home Minister Amit Shah to make his purported plan for relocation of the Chakmas and Hajongs outside the State public as both Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Pema Khandu and Union Law Minister Rijiju referred to him in their public interactions.

CDFI has claimed that the citizenship issue of the Chakma Hajongs in Arunachal Pradesh was was settled by the Supreme Court in its 1996 judgment in the case of the NHRC Vs State of Arunachal Pradesh. It also claimed that Chakmas and Hajongs have submitted their citizenship applications under Section 5 of the 1955 Citizenship Act but denied have been denied citizenship as the State refuses to implement the judgment.

It is to be noted that the CDFI has registered a complaint in the PMO regarding a proposed census of the Chakmas and Hajongs claiming it to be racial profiling of the communities. Reportedly Arunachal Chief Minister Pema Khandu has issued instructions for the census to the concerned authorities.

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