AITF seeks House session on refugee issue

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HT Correspondent

ITANAGAR, Sept 22: A day after the People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) urged the BJP-led state government to come up with a clear cut policy on the Chakma-Hajong refugee issue, the Arunachal Indigenous Tribes Forum (AITF) on Friday demanded convening of a special session of the state assembly to pass a resolution on the problem.

“Through that resolution the state government should send a message to the Central government that refugees will be never allowed to settle in the state,” said the chairman of AITF Bengia Tolum.

Speaking to newsmen here, Tolum, while opposing the proposed move to grant citizenship to Chakmas and Hajongs, affirmed that not an inch of land would be given to the refugees.

Union home ministry’s decision to grant citizenship to Chakma and Hajong refugees has evoked resentment in the state. Expressing solidarity with AAPSU on the issue, Tolum, while terming the Centre’s decision as ‘biased’ and ‘unacceptable’, said that the move was made without the taking the consent of people of the state.

Stating that the forum is not against the granting of citizenship to refugees, he demanded shifting of those refugees who had been staying in the state since 1960 after bestowing with citizenship. Opposing the state government’s decisions to execute the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy (TRP), 2014 and to create 100 posts of Bodhi teachers, Tolum called upon the state government to frame a proper education and language policy.

Coming down heavily on the union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju for his alleged ‘double standard on the vexed refugee issue, Tolum alleged that the former’s self-contradictory statements on the refugee issue had puzzled the people of the state. Likening Rijiju with chameleon, the AITF chief sought a clarification from the union minister on the issue in black and white.

Castigating the state MPs for maintain a stoic silence on this crucial issue, Tolum ,while questioning their integrity, urged them to do something for the development for the state. “No modification of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act 1873 will be accepted by us,” Tolum said. Further, the AITF urged the state government to expedite the Green field airport project.

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