Not ready to accept citizenship for Chakma, Hajong refugees: CM Khandu to Rajnath
The Centre had recently decided to grant citizenship to nearly one lakh Chakma and Hajong refugees who have been residing in northeastern states for over 50 years now.india Updated: Sep 18, 2017 23:24 IST
Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu wrote to Union home minister Rajnath Singh Monday expressing his state’s “inability” to accept the Centre’s decision to grant citizenship to Chakma and Hajong refugees residing in the northeastern state.
Reiterating “concerns of the people”, the CM said that the issue is of “deep emotional concern” and the “state is not ready to accept any infringement of the constitutional protection bestowed on the state’s tribals”.
Khandu said Arunachal Pradesh is a predominantly tribal state to which the Constitution has provided special safeguards to protect the rights of the indigenous people from the outsiders.
“The people of my state….want to ensure that the ethnic composition and the special rights enjoyed by the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh are safeguarded at all cost,” Khandu wrote to Rajnath.
The Centre had recently decided to grant citizenship to nearly one lakh Chakma and Hajong refugees who have been residing in northeastern states for over 50 years now.
The decision had evoked sharp reactions in Arunachal Pradesh, where nearly 50,000 of the refugees who fled from Bangladesh in 1964 reside. Chakmas are Buddhists while Hajongs are Hindus.
The Centre’s decision to grant citizenship follows a 2015 Supreme Court order.
But the refugees won’t have any land rights and would need to have an inner line permit to reside in Arunachal Pradesh, where there are restrictions on entry of outsiders.