The Supreme Court Friday directed the Centre and Arunachal Pradesh government to grant citizenship to Chakmas and Hajongs refugees, who migrated to India from East Pakistan (now in Bangladesh) in 1964-69, within three months.
A bench of Justice Anil R Dave and Justice Adarsh K Goel said Chakmas were allowed to be rehabilitated under the decision of the Government of India. “They could not be discriminated against in any manner, pending formal conferment of rights of citizenship,” it said.
The bench said that they should be granted citizenship in accordance with the settled procedure, and that the authorities should also take all necessary steps to protect them in view of their complaints of facing hostility from the local population.
“We direct the Centre and Arunachal Pradesh to finalise the conferment of citizenship rights on eligible Chakmas and Hajongs and also to ensure compliance of directions in judicial decisions for protection of their life and liberty and against their discrimination in any manner. The exercise may be completed at the earliest preferably within three months from today,” it said.
The order was passed on a petition filed by Committee for Citizenship Rights of the Chakmas (CCRC).