- December 12, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject – Governance
Context – PMO takes note of Chakma-Hajong census
- Chakmas and Hajongs were originally residents of the Chittagong Hill Tracts of erstwhile East Pakistan, who had to flee when their land was submerged by the Kaptai dam project,on the Karnaphuli River, Bangladesh, in the 1960s.
- The Chakmas, who are Buddhist, and Hajongs, who are Hindus, also faced religious persecution in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).
- They are found in northeast India, West Bengal, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
- Chakmas and Hajongs entered India through the then Lushai Hills district of Assam (now Mizoram).
- Within the Chittagong Hill Tracts, the Chakmas are the largest ethnic group and make up half of the region’s population.
- The Chakma possess strong genetic affinities to Tibeto-Burman groups in Northeast India and to East Asian populations.
- In Assam Chakma people have scheduled tribe status.
- They also have high frequencies of mainland Indian genetic ancestry.
- Hajong are the fourth largest ethnicity in Meghalaya.
- Hajongs are predominantly rice farmers and have the status of a Scheduled Tribe in India(Assam and Meghalaya).
- While some stayed back with the Chakmas already in the district, the Indian government moved a majority of Chakmas and Hajong to the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA), which is now Arunachal Pradesh.
- At present, they do not posses citizenship and land rights, but are provided basic amenities by the state government.
- In 2015, the Supreme Court directed the Centre to grant citizenship to Chakma and Hajongs who had migrated from Bangladesh in 1964-69.
- They did not directly come into the ambit of the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA) because Arunachal Pradesh is among the states exempted from the CAA since it has an Inner Line Permit to regulate entry of outsiders.
- Currently, Chakmas and Hajongs are citizens by birth as per Section 3(1) of the Citizenship Act and the eligible portion of their population exercise the right to vote as citizens of India (they were given voting rights in 2004).