The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Ministry of Home Affairs and Arunachal Pradesh to submit an action taken report within six weeks against racial profiling and relocation of the 'Chakmas' and 'Hajongs' from the State and directed both the authorities to "ensure that human rights of the Chakmas and Hajongs are protected by all the ways.
The NHRC communication to the complainant stated, "Let a copy of the complaint, along with the enclosures, be transmitted to the Home Secretary, Government of India, New Delhi and the Chief Secretary, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, through online mode, to submit their respective action taken reports/ response on the serious allegations made by the complainant, within six weeks."
The complainant, Chakma Development Foundation of India (CDFI), in its complaint sought urgent intervention of the NHRC against racial profiling of 65,000 Chakma and Hajong tribals of Arunachal Pradesh through illegal census which was scheduled to commence from December 11, 2021, for their deportation/expulsion/ relocation from the State.
The complaint stated that, out of the 65,000 Chakmas and Hajongs, 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 approached the Supreme Court of India to protect the lives and liberties of the Chakmas and Hajongs in October 1995. On 9th January 1996, the Supreme Court pronounced its judgment in the case of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Vs the State of Arunachal Pradesh by declaring the Chakmas and Hajongs as citizens and directing the Government of India and the State of Arunachal Pradesh to process their citizenship applications.
As the matter was not sorted out, another petition was filed by the 'Committee for Citizenship Rights of the Chakmas of Arunachal Pradesh' (Committee for C.R. of C.A.P.) seeking implementation of the Supreme Court's judgment dated January 9, 1996. On September 17, 2015, the Supreme Court once again pronounced its judgment in Committee for C.R. of C.A.P. & Ors vs State Of Arunachal Pradesh & Ors directing the Government of India and the State of Arunachal Pradesh to process their citizenship applications within three months. However, not a single application has been processed as of date, stated the complaint.
The complaint further stated that on August 15, 2021, the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Pema Khandu announced that the Chakmas and Hajongs would be relocated outside of the State and it was confirmed by the sitting Law Minister of India, Kiren Rijiju. Furthermore, in order to implement the said plan, on November 26, 2011, the Deputy Commissioner of Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh notified that "Census of Chakmas and Hajongs 2021" be conducted in all the Chakma/Hajong inhabited areas under his jurisdiction for the report to the Government on or before 31st December 2021, which is an act of racial profiling.
The NHRC's order is a significant step to bury such unlawful measures and further, the direction to both the Ministry of Home Affairs and the State of Arunachal Pradesh to protect human rights of the Chakmas and Hajongs by all the ways is an absolute necessity" stated Suhas Chakma, Founder of the CDFI and the complainant. (ANI)