NEW DELHI, JUNE 6: The Chakma National Council of India (Central Committee) has submitted a memorandum on the behalf of the Chakma people of India to Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi to raise the issue of the Chakma problems in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) during his visit to Bangladesh.
CNCI said in their memorandum that the Chakmas are one of the oldest community of the Indian sub-continent “BHARAT” whose culture, language and script have the imprint of the rich heritage of “BHARAT”. They have lived a large swath of South Asia predominantly of CHT of Bangladesh besides the Northeast of India and Arakan Hills of Myanmar.
The fate of the Chakmas of CHT took an unhappy turn when the special status of being an “Excluded Area” got over looked during the partition of India. The Bengal Boundary Commission headed by Sir Cyrill Redcliffe had done injustice by awarding the CHT to Pakistan against the term of the Bengal Boundary Commission which clearly states that a Muslim majority area shall go to Pakistan and a Hindu majority area shall go to India and CHT had more than 97% non-Muslim and it was awarded to Pakistan Besides. CHT being an “Excluded Area”, it was beyond the Jurisdiction of Bengal Boundary Commission.
In 1964, through a constitutional amendment the autonomous so far status enjoyed by the people of CHT was brought to an end. This was done with a design to assimilate the Indigenous people of the CHT with the mainland of Muslims Bengali people and to exploit the resources of the area. This ambition of the Government of Pakistan and subsequently Bangladesh made adopt policies at the cost of the suffering the innocent people of the CHT. In 1964, the Kaptai hydro power was under taken which submerged 20, 000 hectares of cultivate land and displaced 1,00,000 Tribal people who migrated to India for shelter.
CNCI said that the problems of the Chakmas has its roots to the injustice being done to them during the partition of the Country. The fate of the Chakmas would not have been as it is today, had it been the supposed eight sisters of the Northeast India. The Indian leadership must take the blame for failure to include the CHT with the dominion of India despites all grounds in favour of it inclusion and in spite of it mention being made as part of West Bengal in the provisional boundaries of Indian independence Act.