DIYUN, July 30: In a press conference at Diyun on Saturday, the Chakma Hajong Rights Alliance (CHRA) and its members i.e. Chakma and Hajong Elders Forum (CHEF), the Committee for Citizens’ Rights of the Chakmas and Hajongs of Arunachal Pradesh (CCRCHAP), the Arunachal Pradesh Chakma Students Union (APCSU) and the Arunachal Pradesh Chakma Hajong Students’ Association (APCHSA) urged the All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) to call off the proposed bandh on August 3. The AAPSU had threatened to call bandh if its demands for cancellation of residence certificates issued to the Chakmas and Hajongs and filing of cases against contractual staff Robin Chakma and the extra-assistant commissioner of Diyun and deputy commissioner of Changlang including under the National Security Act.
“The issuance of residence certificate to the Chakmas and Hajongs is absolutely legal. Under the Finance Act of 2020, any person staying in India for an aggregate period of 120 days or more is an ordinarily resident. In fact, Form 6 of the Registration of Electors Rule-1960 does not specify the time period to be included as an ordinary resident and voter under the Representation of People Act of 1950. All persons in India are required to be issued proof of residence and the same can be issued by any authority whether EAC, MLA or local panchayat or municipal officers. Therefore, issuance of proof of residence certificate to the Chakmas and Hajongs are not illegal but compliance with the laws,” stated Krishna Chakma, spokesperson of the CHRA.
He further adds, “In the light of these facts that issuance of residence certificates to the Chakmas and Hajongs and hiring of any contractual worker are legal, there is no cause for either actions on these demands of the AAPSU or any bandh to press for these demands. We therefore urge the AAPSU to reconsider call off the demands and bandh.”
“Robin Chakma is a citizen of India and a contractual worker with the EAC office at Diyun. Any qualified citizen can be employed as a contractual worker. The case has arisen only because he is a Chakma. His ethnic origin must not be treated as a crime and he has not committed any crime,” said Bipin Roshan Chakma, vice president of the APCSU.
“The deputy commissioner of Changlang and the EAC of Diyun also have not committed any offence by issuing residence certificates to the Chakmas and Hajongs as per the laws of the land or hiring qualified citizens as contractual workers,” said Rajesh Chakma, general secretary of the APCHSA.
“The Chakmas and Hajongs have lived in Arunachal Pradesh for the last 60 years. NEFA/Arunachal Pradesh is the motherland of the 95% of the Chakmas and Hajongs who are born and brought up in the State. There is a need to end racial discrimination against the Chakmas and Hajongs and allow everybody to contribute towards development of the State,” urged the CHRA.