Aizawl (zoramobserver.com): The recently resigned Minister of State Dr. Buddha Dhan Chakma on Friday strongly asserted that the Chakmas of Mizoram have the right to enjoy indigenous status as they are scheduled tribe of the state having the same rights with the Zo ethnic people as citizens of India.
“We have every right to claim that we are the indigenous people of Mizoram and we should enjoy this right of indigenousness,” Chakma said while speaking to ‘www.zoramobserver.com.’
He said that even the state Law and Judicial department clearly stated that it was unable to define the word ‘indigenous’.
“While the Law and Judicial department of Mizoram itself failed to define the word indigenous, why are some vested interest and hollow-brained men so hostile on the question of indigeneity,” he added.
No Illegal migrants:
On question of illegal migrants, Chakma while brushing aside the allegation of illegal migrants said that all Chakma families who enrolled in the state electoral roll have valid and genuine documents.
“How can someone blame us as illegal migrants. All the officials processing electoral roll are Mizos. They examine everything based on genuine documents of the voters and after finding everything okay, they then allow them for inclusion in the electoral rolls. Do anyone ever believe that any Mizo electoral officer will favour any Bangladeshi Chakma to enroll in electoral roll?, he questioned.
Chakma students denied medical seats on ground of illegal migrants:
Chakma alleged that four Chakma students were denied medical seat because they were treated as illegal migrants. He, however, said that if the four meritorious Chakma students are found to be genuine citizens of Mizoram, they should be given medical seat because Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla had stated that his government did not discriminate any genuine citizen of Mizoram.
He also alleged that the element or instance of discrimination against minority in Mizoram can be seen from the scenario of MBBS quota row.
According to Chakma, four Chakma students who qualified in NEET were present today in Aizawl to attend the counselling. But they were neither informed by the officials nor were provided security arrangement to attend the counselling. “This is very unfortunate and it clearly indicates that my allegation against H&TE minister is true in term of discrimination against these four meritorious Chakma students,” he said.
No pressure from Congress and NGOs:
Ruling out any pressure from Congress leadership, he said that he had tendered resignation on his own conscience to save the Congress government in maintaining the glory of democracy in the state.
“They just put the option to me and I just decided to resign as MoS so that our government should not be in uneasiness due to my presence which I clearly mentioned on my resignation letter,” he said.
He also said that his resignation was not prompted by pressure from the NGOs and added that he has no regret and was very happy for the Chief Minter and Governor accepting his resignation letter.
Question on citizenship/ genuine resident of Mizoram:
Asked on his opinion about some people questioning about his citizenship, Chakma said that he is genuine citizen of Mizoram and have been playing active politics since long time back.
“It is just a social media gossip. If I am not genuine citizen of Mizoram, then how could I be playing active politics so successful. Actually my critics are so jealous of me seeing my indomitable political success,” Chakma told the ‘www.zoramobserver.com,’ about his unquestionable citizenship of Mizoram.
Dr BD Chakma, formerly Chief Executive Member of the Chakma Autonomous District Council, contested in the 2013 State Assembly elections from Tuichawng constituency on Congress ticket, and got elected. He was known to be the only candidate in 2013 assembly elections who defeated his nearest opponent MNF candidate by the highest margin of votes out of 40 assembly constituencies. He was holding the portfolio of Sericulture and Fisheries in the Lal Thanhawla’s cabinet.
Chakma had resigned on 21 August in protest against denial of medical seat to four Chakma students by the state government. His resignation letter was accepted by Mizoram Governor Lt. Gen. (Rtd) Nirbhay Sharma on 24 August.