Arunachal, Home Ministry Get Rights Notice On Tribal Body's Complaint

“Racial profiling of 65,000 Chakma and Hajong tribals” is behind the rights notice to the Home Ministry.


The Union Home Ministry and Arunachal Pradesh government have been asked for a report within six weeks by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) against the alleged racial profiling of members of Chakma and Hajongs tribes and their relocation from the state.

The NHRC has also directed both the centre and the Arunachal government to “ensure that human rights of the Chakma and Hajong tribals are protected by all the ways”.

Responding to a complaint filed by the Chakma Development Foundation of India (CDFI), the NHRC’s Deputy Registrar KK Shrivastava on Monday wrote a letter, accessed by NDTV, to the Union Home Secretary and Chief Secretary of Arunachal Pradesh government.

The CDFI earlier in a letter to the NHRC sought the rights body’s intervention against “racial profiling of 65,000 Chakma and Hajong tribals of Arunachal Pradesh through illegal census for their deportation or expulsion or relocation from the state”.

The CDFI in a statement on Tuesday claimed that out of the 65,000 Chakma and Hajong tribals, about 60,500 are citizens by birth, thousands whom caste votes, while citizenship applications of 4,000 migrants are yet to be processed.

The NHRC had earlier approached the Supreme Court to protect the lives and liberties of the Chakma and Hajong tribes in October 1995 and on January 9, 1996, the top court had ruled Chakma and Hajong people to be citizens of India and directed the central and state government to process their citizenship applications, the statement said.

It said that as the matter was not sorted out, another petition was filed by the ‘Committee for Citizenship Rights of the Chakma of Arunachal Pradesh’ seeking implementation of the Supreme Court’s January 9, 1996 judgement.

On September 17, 2015, the Supreme Court once again pronounced its order directing the central and state government to process their citizenship applications within three months.

However, not a single application has been processed so far, the statement said.

The CDFI complaint to the NHRC had stated that on August 15 last year, state Chief Minister Pema Khandu announced that the Chakma and Hajong tribals would be relocated outside the state and it was confirmed by Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju.

“In order to implement the state government plan, on November 26, the Deputy Commissioner of Changlang district notified that “Census of Chakma and Hajong tribals 2021″ be conducted in all the Chakma and Hajong tribals inhabited areas under his jurisdiction for report to the Government and that is an act of racial profiling,” the CDFI said.

The statement said that instead of complying with the Supreme Court judgments, the state government had initiated their racial profiling while the Union Law Minister had been repeatedly advocating their forcible relocation to other states.

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