NET News Desk
In a press release issued by Drishya Muni Chakma, President and Supon Chakma, General Secretary of APSCU, it has been alleged that the AAPSU has demanded to exclude the Chakmas of Arunachal Pradesh from the state COVID-19 tally, who have been returning to the state owing to the loss of job during the lockdown.
Terming the demand of the AAPSU to exclude the Chakmas from the State COVID tally as “unfortunate”, the Chakma students’ body stated that “this is like adding salt to wounds of the migrant Chakmas who were forced to return home from various cities due to loss of jobs in the countrywide lockdown.”
“It is pertinent to mention that thousands of Chakmas were forced to move out to cities in search of jobs for survival as State jobs including NREGA, etc are banned for the Chakmas. While Chakmas are also compelled to migrate to cities as they are not covered under the Public Distribution System (PDS) since ration cards were seized in October 1991 and due to loss of huge agricultural land in flood caused by the Noa Dehing river every year. Owing to the countrywide lockdown, the Chakma migrants have become jobless; they have exhausted all their hard earned savings and as uncertainty looms large they have been forced to come home with no option left. It will be totally inhumane if the returnees Chakmas are being treated differently because of their ethnic origin,” stated the APCSU.
The APCSU also clarified that majority of the Chakmas, including the migrant Chakmas returning from cities, were born in Arunachal Pradesh and they are citizens of India by birth as per Section 3 of the Citizenship Act 1955.
The APSCU further stated, “Nobody wants to get infected with this virus. Unfortunately, some of the returnees infected the disease most probably during the transition. The patients need care and not segregation based on their ethnicity. This difficult time requires that all including student bodies, community based organizations, NGOs, etc put their energy in one direction i.e. to help the State government in fighting this menace.”
The Chakma Students’ body, however, supported the demands of the AAPSU to the State government to ensure testing kits and equipments are made available in the state and to provide second round of financial assistance to all the migrants stranded in different States.