The Dilemma of Chakma People in Arunachal Pradesh

Taking refuge in the State since the 1960s, the Chakma people are nowhere.

Originally, the tribe came in as refugees. And then in 1972, the Central Government decided to grant Indian Citizenship under Section 5(i)(a) of the Citizenship Act. The then Arunachal Government opposed the decision and continues to this day. Later the All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) came into forefront of this opposition.

Here is the problem: The Central Government wants to grant Indian Citizenship to the Chakma residing in Arunachal Pradesh. The Supreme Court’s order on 17 September 2015 favoured into giving citizenship to them. But the AAPSU and Arunachal Government have their own point. They say grant them citizenship but do not settle in Arunachal. That’s quite another perspective.

What would happen after the Supreme Court’s judgment? The Union Government and Apex Court are in favour but Arunachal is not. Between the turf of war between the Center and State, people are the worst affected. Unless there are proactive steps to solve the citizenship issue at the governmental level, there is little hope people can expect.

Good articles on their issue:

Stateless people: Chakmas of Arunachal Pradesh

Why Chakmas and Hajongs are India’s nowhere people

Chakma Issue Roils Arunachal as Supreme Court Decrees End to Their Statelessness