Chakma and Hajong
Part of: Prelims and GS – II – Issues related to Tribes
In news The Arunachal Pradesh government has recently decided to relocate the Chakmas and the Hajongs, who trace their roots to Bangladesh.
- It is still not clear as to which state or states the Arunachal government is going to relocate the Chakmas and the Hajongs and the position of the states in question on the issue.
- Chakma leaders, however, claimed 96% of the Chakmas and the Hajongs of Arunachal are citizens of India as per Section 3 of the Citizenship Act.
Who are Chakma and Hajong?
- Chakmas are predominantly Buddhists while Hajongs are Hindus.
- They were inhabitants of the Chittagong Hill Tracts of erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) who migrated to India due to:
- Submergence of their land by the Kaptai dam on the Karnaphuli River in the 1960s.
- religious persecution they faced in East Pakistan as they were non-Muslims.
- The Indian government set up relief camps in Arunachal Pradesh and a majority of them continue to live there even after 50 years.
Why is Arunachal Pradesh local tribes opposing Chakmas?
- According to an apex students organisation, the “illegal Chakma and Hajong immigrants” were brought to Arunachal without taking the state’s indigenous populace into confidence.
- The indigenous communities are opposed to the settlement of the people for reasons including the “dangerous demographic” changes which allegedly occurred in the districts where they are settled and their alleged aggressive attitude towards the ethnic tribes.
What are Chakma’s claims?
- The Chakma Development Foundation of India (CDFI) had petitioned Prime Minister and Union Home Minister to reject Arunachal’s move to relocate “60,000” Chakmas and Hajongs to other states.
- The CDFI said Chakmas, Hajongs, and ex-Assam Rifles personnel were settled in the then centrally-administered North East Frontier Agency in defence of the country following the 1962 Indo-China war.
- It also argued that Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju stated the Citizenship (Amendment) Act of 2019 was enacted to undo the Supreme Court judgment of 1996, thus, granting the Chakmas and the Hajongs citizenship
News source: TH