Centre to urge SC to amend order granting citizenship to Hajong, Chakma refugees | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Centre to urge SC to amend order granting citizenship to Hajong, Chakma refugees

The Chakmas and Hajongs cannot be put with the same footing with the people of AP, minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju said.

india Updated: Sep 19, 2017 23:12 IST
Azaan Javaid
Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, addresses the 2nd 'Smart Border Management' conference at FICCI, in New Delhi on Monday.
Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, addresses the 2nd 'Smart Border Management' conference at FICCI, in New Delhi on Monday. (PTI)

Amid concerns in his home state over the granting of citizenship to Chakma and Hajong refugees, Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday said the Centre would approach Supreme Court to seek an “amendment” to its 2015 order directing the Centre t to grant citizenship to some 54,000 refugees.

The minister of state for home affairs, who is also an MP from Arunachal Pradesh (AP), on Tuesday said the SC order was not “implementable”. The ministry had last week said it would comply with the order directing the Centre to grant citizenship to Chakma and Hajong, who settled in India after facing persecution from erstwhile East Pakistan.

However, on Tuesday, Rijiju said the “ground realities” in the state must be impressed upon the apex court adding that he will stand up for the rights of “his people”. “The Chakmas and Hajongs have entered India illegally. If the Chakmas are given citizenship as Arunachal tribals or as indigenous Arunachali, it will disturb the social and demographic structure of the state. We have to impress upon the court to understand this reality,” Rijiju said.

“Some families were settled by the Congress government between 1964 and 1969. That itself was a violation,” Rijiju said. The same “violation” was raised by the chief minister Pema Khandu in a letter to home minister Rajnath Singh on Monday.

The Chakmas and Hajongs cannot be put with the same footing with the people of AP, Rijiju said. The statement comes after the state observed a shut down on Tuesday to protest the Centre’s move to grant citizenship to the refugees. “Once Chakma and Hajong become legal citizens of India they are entitled to live anywhere in the country, but AP is a protected territory. Even for genuine Indian you need Inner Line Permit to visit the state since it is a constitutionally protected territory,” Rijiju added.