Arunachal has over 65k Chakma, Hajong refugees: CM Khandu tells assembly

ITANAGAR, Mar 14: As many as 65,884 Chakma and Hajong refugees reside in Arunachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Pema Khandu told the Assembly on Monday, citing a survey conducted by the government in 2015-16 in three districts of the state where they have settled – Changlang, Namsai and Papum Pare.

Khandu, in a written reply to Congress MLA Wanglin Lowangdong, also said that the government allotted an area of 4,240.24 hectares to the Chakmas and Hajongs in Changlang district, besides 730.432 hectares in Namsai and an approximate 14 square kilometers in Papum Pare.

In Changlang, the refugees are mostly settled in Miao, Kharsang and Diyun.

Similarly in Namsai, they reside in three villages of Chongkham circle, while in Papum Pare, they are concentrated in Changmara-Magoni and Chessa areas, the CM stated.

Additionally, the refugees have encroached upon 5,819.88 hectares in Changlang, and 289.57 hectares in Namsai districts. No such encroachment has been reported from Papum Pare, Khandu maintained.

“As per the judgement of the Supreme Court in 1996, the state government has provided basic amenities like road, health care, schools, electricity and water supplies to the Chakmas and Hajongs living in the three districts,” Khandu asserted while responding to another supplementary question.

Chakmas, who are Buddhists, and Hajongs, who are Hindus, migrated to India between 1964 and 1966 from the Chittagong Hills Tract of then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) to escape religious persecution, and were settled in the North East Frontier Agency, which is the present-day Arunachal Pradesh. 

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