Any attempt to undermine or trample the indigenous peoples’ rights by way of granting citizenship rights to the Chakma and Hajong refugees of East Pakistan origin in Arunachal Pradesh would trigger social unrest in the state, the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) said on Thursday.
Reacting strongly against the Centre’s decision to grant citizenship to the Chakma and Hajong refugees, the state’s apex students’ body also described it as “very unfortunate” and complained that the Centre was treating the indigenous communities of Arunachal Pradesh as second-class citizens.
“The Centre’s reported decision to grant citizenship to the Chakma and Hajong refugees in our state is very unfortunate. It amounts to treating the indigenous people of a strategic frontier state as second class citizens of the country,” AAPSU general secretary Tobom Dai said in Itanagar.
“Granting citizenship to Chakma and Hajong refugees in Arunachal Pradesh will not only lead to granting them political rights, but will also have far-reaching ramifications in the socio-political fabric of the state,” Dai said.
Pointing out that the decision would also trigger off social unrest ‘until and unless the rights of the indigenous people are adequately protected and safeguarded,’ the AAPSU leader also announced its decision to launch a state-wide agitation against the Centre’s move.
“We had always expected that justice would be delivered to the indigenous people of Arunachal Pradesh, but the Centre’s decision is very unfortunate. This new development will also trample upon our rights,” he said. The AAPSU leader also hit out at both Congress and BJP, and said both parties were to be equally blamed for the developments that would push the tribal communities of Arunachal Pradesh to the brink.