Aizawl (zoramobserver.com): Mizoram Minister of State Dr. Buddha Dhan Chakma resigned on Monday in protest against the denial of medical seats to four Chakma students who have qualified in the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) this year for studying MBSS under Mizoram state quota.
Chakma submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla.
In his resignation letter, Minister of State for Sericulture and Fisheries Dr. BD Chakma said that four Chakma students namely Darshan Chakma, Nibir Chakma, Mini Chakma and Nibhir Tongchangya have qualified in NEET for pursuing MBBS under Mizoram state quota and accordingly they were called for counseling on 20 July, 2017 by the Higher and Technical Education Department of Mizoram government. But regrettably, on the same day, just after the completion of the said counseling and without providing any reason thereof, the whole process of counseling was cancelled by the Commissioner, Higher and Technical Education Department and called for a fresh re-counseling, the date of which has not been declared by the concerned department.
The four Chakma students were among 38 selected to study MBBS and bachelor of dental surgery under Mizoram state quota through NEET.
Two of them, ranked 9 and 23, are from Tuichawng, the assembly constituency in Lunglei district that Chakma represents.
“On 26 July, 2017, Mizoram Higher & Technical Education Minister R. Romawia clearly stated in his press statement that the state MBBS’s quota would be reserved exclusively for Zo-ethnic people of Mizoram. From his statement, it is clear that he is not going to give any MBBS seat to non-Zo ethnic students and it indicates a clear denial of MBBS seats to those four meritorious Chakma students and this is not acceptably by me,” Chakma said.
Chakma, however, claimed that it is his bounded duty as a minister of state to serve the people of Mizoram with equality irrespective of caste, creed and religion and felt sorry if he had hurt the sentiments of many innocent people while discharging his duty as a minister.
“I fear that my presence as a minister of state in your esteemed ministry, may create uneasiness to maintain the glory of democracy of our state where all of us should feel at home under your dynamic leadership irrespective of caste, creed and religion and I, with my full conscience, do hereby tendered my resignation from the post of minister of state,” Chakma wrote in his resignation to Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla.
Mizoram NGOs such as Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), representing the Zo ethnic groups, claim that most of the Chakmas are outsiders who migrated from Bangladesh.
Mizoram civil bodies and student bodies were demanding the resignation of Chakma on the ground that he is responsible for instigating communal tension in Mizoram. Earlier all NGOs also threatened statewide total shutdown if Chakma is not sacked from his post and agreed to wait the government action till August 25.
The NGO coordination committee, a conglomerate of all civil bodies and student bodies alleged that Chakma had been indulging in anti-government activities on several occasions and was responsible for the arrest of MZP leaders in 2014 in the wake of protest against the construction of “Zofate Chawlhbuk” (Rest house for Zofate) at Borapansury village in Chakma area.
The committee also alleged that Chakma was one of the prominent figures among people who boycotted MDC election in 2014 in protest against the construction of ‘rest house’ at Borapansury.