ALSO READChakma & Hajong comminities cannot be givent ST status: Rijiju Chakma & Hajong comminities cannot be givent ST status: Rijiju (CORRECTING THE SLUG) All-party to discuss Chakma, Hajong citizenship issue Cong supports AAPSU over citizenship issue to Chakma-Hajong Centre's decision on citizenship to Chakmas, Hajongs opposed
An all party meeting convened by Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu here today unanimously decided to move the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to revive the Joint High Powered Committee on Chakma and Hajong refugee issue. It was also decided that the minutes of the decision of the all party meet would be put forth before the State High Powered Committee headed by the chief minister. The meeting was called to discuss the issues relating to granting of citizenship to Chakma and Hajong refugees in the state. The Supreme Court had on September 17, 2015 in an order directed the Centre as well as the state government to grant citizenship to the Chakmas and Hajongs residing in the state. The AAPSU on November 19 the same year filed a SLP at the apex court. The state government had also filed another SLP on September 14 last year.
However, both the SLPs are lying pending with the court for hearing. Representatives from BJP, Congress, PPA, Trinamool Congress, NCP, Aam Admi Party and All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union participated in the marathon meeting that stretched to six hours. The chief minister was joined by his cabinet colleagues, all the advisors, Advocate General of Arunachal Pradesh and his legal group, Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary (Political), Secretary (Political) and IGPs during the meeting. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju also attended the meeting. The meeting resolved to exhaust all legal means to defend and protect the interests of the indigenous tribes within the state of Arunachal Pradesh in the matter decided by the Supreme Court in respect of granting of citizenship to Chakma and Hajongs. The meeting supported the steps initiated by the state government and pinned hopes for a positive and lasting solution to the vexed issue. Later talking to reporters, the AAPSU leaders informed that the meeting decided to oppose granting of citizenship to refugees in the state. The union conveyed its gratitude to all the political parties and the state government for supporting its movement against the refugees. "The Centre should understand that Arunachalees are peace loving people and the Centre should let us remain so," AAPSU President Hawa Bagang said. "We are not fighting against the government or the Supreme Court or its decision, we are only fighting for what is right, for our future," asserted Bagang. AAPSU general secretary Tobom Dai said that the all-party meeting also resolved to take up both the Special Leave Petitions (SLPs) which are lying pending in the apex court for hearing. Bagang also said that the union would not accept any illegal refugees to stay in the state with citizenship status. He, however, said that those genuine refugees could stay in the state in their designated camps and the state would offer all the basic amenities to them. The AAPSU also criticised Lok Sabha MP Ninong Ering and Rajya Sabha member Mukut Mithi for not attending the all-important meeting despite intimation. The apex students' body of the state, has been spearheading the movement against the Chakmas and Hajongs since 1990 and has expressed apprehension that if the refugees are granted citizenship and settlement rights in Arunachal Pradesh then the indigenous tribal communities would be reduced to a minority and opportunities currently available to them would be taken away. Chakmas and Hajongs entered India through the then Lushai Hills district of Assam (now Mizoram). While some stayed back with the Chakmas already in the district, the Indian government moved a majority of them to the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA), which is now Arunachal Pradesh.
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