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Chakma NGOs seek citizenship to Chin refugees from Myanmar

By   /  January 29, 2019  /  Comments Off on Chakma NGOs seek citizenship to Chin refugees from Myanmar

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Dimapur, Jan. 29 (EMN): The eight Chakma NGOs on Tuesday moved to Union Home Ministry seeking further amendment of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 to give citizenship to over one lakh Chin refugees from Myanmar, living in India.
Many Chins, an ethnic tribe in Myanmar, had fled the neighbouring country following ethnic conflicts and settled mainly in Mizoram and Manipur.
The appeal comes at a time most organisations in the Northeast are up against the Bill, which was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8 and is pending in the Rajya Sabha.
The bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, in order to allow the ‘persecuted minorities’ from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan such as Hindus, Christian, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Sikhs, who settled before December 2014, to apply for Indian citizenship. Many organisations in the Northeast are against the bill fearing that it would threaten their ethnic identity.
The memorandum submitted Rashtriya Chakma Tribal Sangh (RCTS), All India Chakma Students Union (AICSU), All India Chakma Social Forum (AICSF), Mizoram Chakma Students Union (MCSU), Guwahati Chakma Students Union (GCSU), Barak Valley Chakma Students Association (BVCSA), Delhi Chakma Students Union (DCSU) and Meghalaya Chakma Students Union (MLCSU), urged the Centre to amend the bill in the Budget session to grant citizenship to the Chin refugees.
“The number of Chin refugees in India has become at least over 1.2 lakhs over the years. Further, in November 2017, about 1,600 Chins, many of whom were women and children fled to Lawngtlai district of Mizoram following a military offensive against the Arakan Army militants in Myanmar’s Chin state. While some have returned home, around 1,440 refugees have reportedly refused to return due to insecurity,” said Dilip Kanti Chakma, president of the All India Chakma Students Union.
“The number of Chin refugees in India has become over 1.2 lakhs over the years. In November 2017, about 1,600 Chins, many of whom were women and children, fled to Lawngtlai district of Mizoram following a military offensive against the Arakan Army (AA) militants in the Chin state. While some have returned home, around 1,440 refugees have reportedly refused to return due to insecurity,” the statement said.
About 4,000 Chin refugees are registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in New Delhi but in June 2018, the UNHCR decided to cancel the refugee status of the Chin refugees with effect from 1 August 2018 and that the cessation process would be completed by December 31 this year on the ground that Myanmar has now become stable and secure” for them to return home and, therefore, they don’t need “international protection, it stated.
“Some NGOs of Mizoram have been unnecessarily targeting the Chakmas who are indigenous to Mizoram, have an Autonomous District Council under the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India and never raised the issue of the Chin refugees,” the statement added.

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  • Published: 3 months ago on January 29, 2019
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  • Last Modified: January 29, 2019 @ 11:06 pm
  • Filed Under: Region

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