Tuki seeks Centre's intervention on Chakma-Hajong issue

rajnath tukiNEW DELHI, Oct 27: Chief Minister Nabam Tuki this evening called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi here and submitted a letter requesting the Centre's intervention to bail out the state government from the situation arising out of the Supreme Court directive to grant Indian citizenship to Chakmas and Hajongs and their permanent settlement in Arunachal Pradesh.

Tuki said in the letter that the verdict has come as a big blow to the people of Arunachal Pradesh and informed of the agitations against the same throughout the state by the Civil Society, NGOs, student unions and political parties.

 

"There has been a perception and rightly so that the socio-cultural fabric of Arunachal Pradesh will be considerably altered if this order is implemented," he pointed.

 

The Chief Minister explained that the Chakma and Hajong refugees, who had migrated from Bangladesh to India during 1964-69, were settled by the then Assam Government in the then  (NEFA). The arbitrary grant of settlement to these refugees has always been a contentious issue which is being examined for resolution by the Centre as well as the State Government. The Centre had constituted a High Powered Committee (HPC) and several committees were also formed locally to examine the issue.

 

"When the HPC is yet to submit its report on the issue, the Hon'ble Supreme Court on 17th September, 2015 delivered a judgment directing the Government of India and Government of Arunachal Pradesh to finalize the conferment of citizenship on eligible Chakma-Hajong refugees within 3 months," Tuki expressed surprise.

 

He submitted that the judgment takes away the special protection given to the tribal community of Arunachal Pradesh and defies the object of having an 'Inner Line Permit' to enter the State. The Supreme Court while hearing the matter could not get full assistance from the Lawyers of Government of India and State of Arunachal Pradesh since the Hon'ble Court did not agree for an adjournment sought by the Government of India Lawyers. The case was suddenly listed after one and half years of its last listing, he said.

 

Tuki further pointed that the earlier judgments of the High Courts of Guwahati and Delhi allowing the Chakmas to be given voting rights without being the citizens of the country, which were relied upon by the Supreme Court, are also in contravention to provisions of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1950.

 

He informed the Prime Minister of the all-party meet held at Itanagar after the Supreme Court judgment that opposed the verdict and authorized the state government to take all necessary steps to legally and constitutionally fight against it. The same resolution was adopted by the State Cabinet and it was decided that the State Government would file a Review Petition which has been done a couple of days ago.

 

He requested the Prime Minister to direct the concerned to file a Review Petition against the present case and a curative petition in the previous case.

 

"This would be a step towards saving the rights of Protected Indigenous Tribes and in consonance with Constitution of India and various other Acts and Rules giving special protection to the native Tribal Community," Tuki observed in the letter.

 

Prior to calling on the Prime Minister, Tuki had a meeting with Home Minister Rajnath Singh at North Block on the same issue and urged the Union Home Ministry to support the state government in reaching a resolution to the conflict situation in the aftermath of the Supreme Court verdict.

 

The Union Home Minister assured Tuki that the Ministry will soon hold a meeting to assess the situation arising out of the Supreme Court verdict and resort to amicable resolution of the problem.

 

NEW DELHI, Oct 27: Chief Minister Nabam Tuki this evening called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi here and submitted a letter requesting the Centre's intervention to bail out the state government from the situation arising out of the Supreme Court directive to grant Indian citizenship to Chakmas and Hajongs and their permanent settlement in Arunachal Pradesh.

Tuki said in the letter that the verdict has come as a big blow to the people of Arunachal Pradesh and informed of the agitations against the same throughout the state by the Civil Society, NGOs, student unions and political parties.

"There has been a perception and rightly so that the socio-cultural fabric of Arunachal Pradesh will be considerably altered if this order is implemented," he pointed.

The Chief Minister explained that the Chakma and Hajong refugees, who had migrated from Bangladesh to India during 1964-69, were settled by the then Assam Government in the then North East Frontier Agency (NEFA). The arbitrary grant of settlement to these refugees has always been a contentious issue which is being examined for resolution by the Centre as well as the State Government. The Centre had constituted a High Powered Committee (HPC) and several committees were also formed locally to examine the issue.

"When the HPC is yet to submit its report on the issue, the Hon'ble Supreme Court on 17th September, 2015 delivered a judgment directing the Government of India and Government of Arunachal Pradesh to finalize the conferment of citizenship on eligible Chakma-Hajong refugees within 3 months," Tuki expressed surprise.

He submitted that the judgment takes away the special protection given to the tribal community of Arunachal Pradesh and defies the object of having an 'Inner Line Permit' to enter the State. The Supreme Court while hearing the matter could not get full assistance from the Lawyers of Government of India and State of Arunachal Pradesh since the Hon'ble Court did not agree for an adjournment sought by the Government of India Lawyers. The case was suddenly listed after one and half years of its last listing, he said.

Tuki further pointed that the earlier judgments of the High Courts of Guwahati and Delhi allowing the Chakmas to be given voting rights without being the citizens of the country, which were relied upon by the Supreme Court, are also in contravention to provisions of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1950.

He informed the Prime Minister of the all-party meet held at Itanagar after the Supreme Court judgment that opposed the verdict and authorized the state government to take all necessary steps to legally and constitutionally fight against it. The same resolution was adopted by the State Cabinet and it was decided that the State Government would file a Review Petition which has been done a couple of days ago.

He requested the Prime Minister to direct the concerned to file a Review Petition against the present case and a curative petition in the previous case.

"This would be a step towards saving the rights of Protected Indigenous Tribes and in consonance with Constitution of India and various other Acts and Rules giving special protection to the native Tribal Community," Tuki observed in the letter.

Prior to calling on the Prime Minister, Tuki had a meeting with Home Minister Rajnath Singh at North Block on the same issue and urged the Union Home Ministry to support the state government in reaching a resolution to the conflict situation in the aftermath of the Supreme Court verdict.

The Union Home Minister assured Tuki that the Ministry will soon hold a meeting to assess the situation arising out of the Supreme Court verdict and resort to amicable resolution of the problem.