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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

Chakma students leave school over alleged threats from majority Mizos, want Amit Shah to address issue

The All India Chakma Students Union claimed that the students at the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in Thenzawl in Serchhip district, fled over threats from the majority Mizos.

india Updated: Oct 05, 2019 15:11 IST
Sadiq Naqvi
Sadiq Naqvi
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
The All India Chakma Students Union has asked Union Home Minister Amit Shah to address the issue of alleged torture of Chakma students in Mizoram.
The All India Chakma Students Union has asked Union Home Minister Amit Shah to address the issue of alleged torture of Chakma students in Mizoram.(DIPR, MIZORAM)
         

Thirty four Chakma residential students at a Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) in Mizoram left for their homes on Thursday citing safety and security concerns after a Chakma student was thrashed over suspicion of theft last week, officials said.

The All India Chakma Students Union claimed that the students at the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in Thenzawl in Serchhip district, fled over threats from the majority Mizos.

According to E Abraham Abednago, the principal of the school, all the 34 Chakma students studying in class 11 and 12 left for their homes in Mamit and Lunglei districts of the state despite assurances from the school administration. “They gave us individual leave applications and left citing security and safety concerns,” Abednago said adding that district officials and even officials from other Navodaya schools were deputed to pacify and reassure them but the students were adamant about leaving.

The development follows an incident on September 26. Abednago said a Chakma student Nolin Bikash Chakma was beaten up on suspicion of stealing Rs 1250 belonging to a Mizo student. The Mizos form the majority of the 206 students in the school.

“The Chakmas demanded separate dormitories which were allotted the next day on September 27,” the principal said adding that teachers even slept in the dormitory to make them comfortable. On October 2, a police team visited the school to counsel them, he said.

Meanwhile, Tejang Chakma, the vice president of the All India Chakma Students Union in a statement on Friday that 34 students including nine girls left “due to lack of security, intimidation and threats of torture from the Mizo students following brutal torture of Nolin Bikash Chakma…”

The organisation has asked Union home minister Amit Shah who landed in Aizawl on Saturday to address the issue.

In a memorandum to Shah in Delhi, Tejang Chakma called for a “need to end such torture in educational institutions and create conducive atmosphere for their return.”

The memorandum also pointed out that in 1997, 43 students had to be shifted from JNV in Lunglei to a school in Manipur following “torture” and “harassment”.

Rvanlalsinga, the in-charge at the Thenzawl Police Station said “the incident was not communal at all as its being projected by Chakmas. We have not registered any case.”

Chakma, a minority scheduled tribe in Mizoram have often alleged racial discrimination at the hands of the majority Mizos. The latter continue to look at the community with suspicion with influential Mizo organizations even demanding that the Chakma Autonomous District Council in South Mizoram, neighbouring the Chittagong Hill Tracts be scrapped for they claim the region is a safe haven for illegal Chakma immigrants, an allegation which the Chakma community vehemently denies.

First Published: Oct 05, 2019 13:56 IST

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