Arunachal Pradesh was more concerned about providing protection to the indigenous communities of the frontier state rather than granting citizenship to the Chakma and Hajong refugees of East Pakistan origin, Chief Minister Pema Khandu told the Centre on Wednesday. He was speaking at a high-level meeting presided over by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi.
“The ethnic composition of the state is an important aspect which needs to be safeguarded,” an official press release issued by the CM office quoted Khandu. He was referring to the Bengal and Frontier Regulation Act of 1873.
Referring to the all-party meeting held earlier in Itanagar on the Chakma-Hajong citizenship issue, Khandu also requested the Home Ministry to revive the Joint High Power Committee headed by a minister of state to re-examine the matter in the light of the all-party resolution. “Such a forum will be able to meet and resolve the vexed issue more meaningfully,” Khandu said.
An all-party meeting convened by Khandu on the Chakma-Hajong issue in Itanagar on June 19 had unanimously resolved to exhaust all legal means to defend and protect the interests of the indigenous tribes in the state.