New Delhi/ Aizawl(zoramobserver.com): The Mizo Students Forum of New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Friday asked the Centre to put a check on the growing influx of illegal Chakma immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh.
In a memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the students forum said the consecutive census results have shown that there has been an exponential growth of the Chakma population in Mizoram in the past decades.
“While there were only 198 Chakmas in Mizoram according to 1901 census, the figure of Chakma population has shot up to 96972 in 2011 census with a growth percentage of 36.04. This is a clear indication that the decadal growth rate of the Chakmas is beyond normal rate of human reproduction and this clearly shows that there has been an unchecked influx of Chakmas from across the border which also reflects the complete failure of state machinery,” the memorandum said.
The students forum said that although a good portion of the Chakma population who have come from Bangladesh have settled in Mizoram prior to 1947, there has been ample evidence that a large number of them who have come to Mizoram are believed to have done so through illegal channels, often causing tension, suspicion, and conflict with local Mizo communities.
The memorandum also said that the first permanent Chakma residents of Mizoram has been documented to have entered Mizoram in the early twentieth century during the British colonial administration of the erstwhile Lushai Hills and the Chakmas gradually settled in different villages in the southern part of the British Lushai territories as subjects under the rule of the Lushai Chiefs, initially paying house rent as foreigners. Their inhabitation in and around this area later in 1972 came to be charted out as a separate Autonomous District Council.
The students forum in its memorandum alleged that the creation of Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC) was motivated by political exigency and was considered to be a strategic decision by the central government in their effort to weaken the MNF insurgency movement.
BONE OF CONTENTION
The creation of Chakma Autonomous District Council is the bone of contention between the Mizos and Chakmas and the growing influx of illegal Chakma immigrants has led to encroachment upon the rights of the indigenous Mizos which have not been addressed holistically due to the State government’s apathy and incompetence, the memorandum also said.
The students forum also made a recommendation before the central government to identify and distinguish between legal and illegal Chakma residents of Mizoram and in this regard , the central government should strengthen state apparatuses and provide necessary funding schemes like BADP to put a check on illegal entry of Chakmas. It further appealed to the Central government to be more sensible and empathetic while deciding on policies concerning indigenous tribal populations of Mizoram.
The students forum also strongly opposed the proposed citizenship amendment bill as it does not take into consideration the concerns and apprehensions of minority communities of India like the Mizos.
It appealed to urged all the Chakma groups and organizations both inside and outside Mizoram and India, not to indulge in hateful propaganda and sensationalism or resort to baseless manipulations and accusations that can only aggravate communal tension, mistrust and antagonism that in turn is detrimental to the social and cultural fabric of the State.
The memorandum further appealed the central government to initiate a proper dialogue and communication involving all stakeholders.