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Chakmas and Hajongs to not cooperate in census

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    3rd Jan, 2022

Context

The Committee for Citizenship Rights of Chakmas and Hajongs of Arunachal Pradesh (CCRCHAP) has stated that Chakmas and Hajongs will not cooperate with any census being taken on them.

About

Who are Chakmas and Hajongs?

  • They are ethnic people who are found in northeast India, West Bengal, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.
  • Chakmas are predominantly Buddhists, while Hajongs are Hindus.
  • The Chakmas and Hajongs were originally residents of the Chittagong Hill Tracts of the former East Pakistan.
  • The Chakmas and Hajongs were displaced by the construction of the Kaptai Dam in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh in 1957.
  • Buddhists by faith, the Chakmas faced religious persecution in East Pakistan along with the Hajongs, who are Hindus.
  • In the 1960s, the Indian state settled them legally in the territory now known as Arunachal Pradesh
    • The groups entered India through what was then the Lushai Hills district of Assam (today’s Mizoram).

Key-points made by the community

  • No Chakma and Hajong shall cooperate with any illegal census.
  • About 95% of the Chakmas and Hajongs are citizens of India by birth and they cannot be discriminated against in any manner.
  • Any census on them must meet the litmus test of complying with Article 14 and Article 21 of the Constitution of India and the 1996 Supreme Court judgement in the case of National Human Rights Commission of India Vs State of Arunachal Pradesh & Anr.
    • In its order SC stated, unequivocally stated that if the application of any individual Chakma migrant of 1964-1969 is pending consideration, the state of Arunachal Pradesh shall not evict or remove the concerned person from his occupation on the ground that he is not a citizen of India until the competent authority has taken a decision in that behalf.

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