News & Information From Northeast India

Indigenous rights can’t be compromised: Arunachal cabinet on Chakma issue

The Arunachal Pradesh cabinet on Friday said that the rights of indigenous people of the state will not be compromised at any cost.  The cabinet endorsed the letter written by the chief minister opposing the grant of citizenship to the Chakma and Hajong refugees by the centre, based on Supreme Court directives.

The cabinet decision assumes significance in view of protests rocking the state after the recent direction of the Supreme Court to grant citizenship to the Chakma and Hajong refugees, who had been living in the state.

The cabinet took note of the letter written by chief minister to Union minister home affairs regarding the vexed issue of granting citizenship to Chakma and Hajong refugees and the entire cabinet unanimously endorsed the firm stand taken by the chief minister.

In his letter to Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Monday, chief minister Pema Khandu said that the matter of granting citizenship to the Chakma and Hajong refugees is of deep emotional concern and that the state is not ready to accept any infringement of the Constitutional protection bestowed on the tribal people of the state.

He reiterated the concerns of the people of Arunachal Pradesh on the vexed issue of granting citizenship to Chakma and Hajong refugees in the state and pointed that Arunachal Pradesh with its unique history is governed by a special Act, namely the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.

“The cabinet reaffirmed that the rights of indigenous people of the state will not be compromised at any cost. These rights are inviolable and are enshrined in the Constitution of India and protected by various laws enacted from time to time,” said a government spokesperson on Friday.

Meanwhile, the People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) on Friday demanded that the BJP-led government in the state must come out with clear policies and programmes to deal with the Chakma and Hajong refugee issue.

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