NHRC Seeks Report from MHA, Arunachal Govt on ‘Racial Profiling of Chakma, Hajongs Tribals’

NHRC Indian National Human Rights Commission. (Credit: Handout)

ITANAGAR – The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Union Home Ministry and Arunachal Pradesh government to submit action taken report within six weeks against alleged racial profiling of the Chakma and Hajongs tribals and their relocation from the state.

The NHRC has also directed both the MHA and the Arunachal government to “ensure that human rights of the Chakma and Hajong tribals are protected by all the ways.

Responding to a complaint filed by the Chakma Development Foundation of India (CDFI), the NHRC’s Deputy Registrar K.K. Shrivastava on Monday in a letter, which is available with IANS, to the MHA Secretary and Chief Secretary of Arunachal Pradesh government, communicated the commission’s direction to send the action taken report to the Commission within six weeks.

The CDFI earlier in a letter to the NHRC sought the rights’ panel intervention against “racial profiling of 65,000 Chakma and Hajong tribals of Arunachal Pradesh through illegal census for their deportation or expulsion or relocation from the state”.

The CDFI in a statement on Tuesday claimed that out of the 65,000 Chakma and Hajong tribals, about 60,500 are citizens by birth, thousands casting votes while citizenship applications of 4,000 migrants are yet to be processed.

The NHRC had earlier approached the Supreme Court to protect the lives and liberties of the Chakma and Hajong tribes in October 1995 and in January 9, 1996, the apex court pronounced its judgement by declaring the Chakma and Hajong as citizens of India and directing the Central and state government to process their citizenship applications, the statement said.

It said that as the matter was not sorted out, another petition was filed by the ‘Committee for Citizenship Rights of the Chakma of Arunachal Pradesh’ seeking implementation of the Supreme Court’s January 9 (1996) judgement.

On September 17, 2015, the Supreme Court once again pronounced its order directing the Central and state government to process their citizenship applications within three months. However, not a single application has been processed so far, the statement said.

The CDFI complaint to the NHRC had stated that on August 15 last year, state Chief Minister Pema Khandu announced that the Chakma and Hajong tribals would be relocated outside the state and it was confirmed by Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju.

“In order to implement the state government plan, on November 26, the Deputy Commissioner of Changlang district notified that “Census of Chakma and Hajong ribals 2021″ be conducted in all the Chakma and Hajong tribals inhabited areas under his jurisdiction for report to the Government and that is an act of racial profiling,” the CDFI said.

The statement said that instead of complying with the Supreme Court judgments, the state government had initiated their racial profiling while the Union Law Minister had been repeatedly advocating their forcible relocation to other state.

The NHRC’s order is a significant step to bury such unlawful measures and further, the direction to MHA and the state government to protect human rights of the Chakma and Hajong tribals by all means is an absolute necessity, the CDFI founder Suhas Chakma stated. -IANS


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