Arunachal students’ body demands refugee census despite PMO’s veto

A foundation had petitioned the PMO saying the exclusive census was nothing but racial profiling of the Chakmas and Hajongs settled in the State

The apex students’ body of Arunachal Pradesh has set a 15-day deadline for the Pema Khandu Government to conduct an exclusive census of the Chakma and Hajong refugees.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had asked the State Government to take appropriate action after a petition from the Chakma Development Foundation of India (CDFI) said such an exercise was nothing but racial profiling aimed at throwing the refugees out of Arunachal Pradesh.

The Buddhist Chakmas and Hindu Hajongs, displaced by a dam in erstwhile East Pakistan and subsequent religious persecution, had been settled in Arunachal Pradesh in the 1960s. Indigenous communities have been demanding their ouster.

The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) said the census of the Chakmas and Hajongs was shelved after the State Government received a letter from the PMO following the CDFI’s complaint.

“The Government of Arunachal Pradesh must tell the PMO that the census is a normal administrative exercise and necessary for safeguarding the indigenous people of the State,” AAPSU general secretary Tobom Dai said.

Advising the State Government to not succumb to “external forces”, the AAPSU said maintaining accurate data on the refugees was crucial for Arunachal Pradesh.

Apart from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the CDFI had petitioned Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat on December 2 against the alleged racial profiling of some 65,000 Chakmas and Hajongs in Arunachal Pradesh. The CDFI said the eviction of the refugees was the reason behind the census that was scheduled from December 11.

Source: Read Full Article