Citizenship (Amendment) Bill: It is not Chakma and Hajong but other non-tribal, such as Muslims, who pose a threat to indigenous people of the state says APCSU


ITANAGAR, MAY 18: The Arunachal Pradesh Chakma Students' Union (APCSU), the influential students’ body has cleared its stand on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill) 2016, the bill proposes to amend the Citizenship Act of 1955 and make minority communities of Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh eligible for applying for Indian citizenship and the bill is now being examined by the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC).

"It is not the Chakma and Hajong but other non-tribal population, such as the Muslims, who pose a threat to the indigenous people of the state and as the focus remains on the Chakma for vested interests, the threat from Muslims and others is ignored, and this could have repercussions in the long run. We were born in Arunachal and for us it is our homeland" APCSU said in a press statement on Thursday.

Arunachal Pradesh Chakma Students' Union (APCSU) also welcomed the protest by the AAPSU and the NESO with respect to the proposed grant of citizenship to certain categories of people who had come to India by 31 December, 2014.

However, the Chakma and Hajong are not affected by the same as the overwhelming majority of them are already citizens by birth under Section 3(1) of the Citizenship Rights Act.

At the same time, we remain concerned that citizenship is not being granted to about 4500 Chakma and Hajong who had been settled by the Government of India under a definite plan of rehabilitation after the Indo-China war of 1962.

The then NEFA and Chittagong Hill Tracts of the then East Pakistan did not share any border and the Chakma were brought by the Government of India after making them travel through Mizoram, Tripura, and Assam, to be settled in Arunachal Pradesh. Organisations such as AAPSU and NESO ought to realize that rights are never exercised by denying the same to others. They should take a principled stand.

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