“The population of Chakma, who are not indigenous people of Mizoram has increased from a mere 198 in the first ever census in 1901 to 80,000 in 1991 census. Within a span of 90 years they have multiplied it by 44004% and this increase is not possible by way of normal human reproduction.”
Aizawl (zoramobserver.com): Being apprehensive of the alarming growth of Chakma population due to influx of illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, Mizoram’s apex student body, the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) took the issue with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh during the latter’s visit to Mizoram on June 12.
In a memorandum submitted to the Union Home Minister, the MZP said that one of the biggest problems of Mizoram is the influx of illegal Chakma immigrants.
“The population of Chakma, who are not indigenous people of Mizoram has increased from a mere 198 in the first ever census in 1901 to 80,000 in 1991 census. Within a span of 90 years they have multiplied it by 44004% and this increase is not possible by way of normal human reproduction,” the memorandum said.
‘Chakmas not original inhabitants of Mizoram’
Going by historical records, the MZP said that Chakmas have never lived in Mizoram and have never been considered indigenous people of the Mizoram.
“During the British rule, the Lushai hills (Mizoram) administrators issued several orders time after time to control foreigners, and the Chakmas were one of the foreigners mentioned in those orders,” it said.
“When we were ruled by the Britishers, the Chakmas were allowed to stay for a year within Mizoram if they were willing to help out digging the roads around the state border. They were also permitted to stay up to 3 years if the administrators give them a special permit. In 1941, a total of 18 Chakmas and Reang/Bru people were allowed to stay in Mizoram,” the memorandum said.
During the second census in 1911, there were 302 Chakmas in Mizoram. The population increased to 680 (225.16%) in 1921, then further to 836 (122.94%) in 1931. In the 1941 general census, the Chakma population skyrocketed to 5,088 (608.61%), then further to 15,297 (300.64%) in 1951. In 1961 census, the figure rose to 19,327 (126.34%), and again to 22,392 (115.85%) in 1971, to 39,905 (178.21%) in 1981 and jumped to 80, 000 (200.47%) in 1991, the student body informed the Home Minister.
It said that Chakma people had multiplied and now they are more than a lakh. “We, the MZP find this extremely disheartening and are not able to understand how this has happened over the years,” the memorandum said.
As it was no longer allowed to segregate the population by caste from 2001, it became not possible to conclude with the exact number of Chakma population. However, it is certained that they are roughly around 1,50,000 which is huge in comparison to the size and current population of Mizoram which is a little more than 10 lakh according to 2011 census, the student body said.
As the abnormal growth of Chakma population in Mizoram strongly indicates illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, the MZP urged the Union Home Minister to take it seriously and intervene to solve the problem.