Chakma bodies condemn demolition of under-construction house at Tuichawngchhuah village

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HT Correspondent

New Delhi/ Aizawl, Jan 11: The leading Chakma civil society organisations namely the All India Chakma Students’ Union, the Rashtriya Chakma Tribal Sangh (RCTS), the All India Chakma Social Forum (AICSF) and the Central Mizoram Chakma Students’ Union (CMCSU) have in a joint statement strongly condemned the barbaric act of demolition of one under-construction house of a Chakma family and threats and intimidation of the Chakma villagers by the Mizo Students Union at Tuichawngchhuah village in Lunglei district of Mizoram.

On Thursday, a team of four youth identifying themselves to be from the Mizo Students Union (MSU) visited the Tuichawngchhuah village and ordered the demolition of one under-construction house belonging to Puspo Ranjan Chakma, son of Ranga Soga Chakma, a resident of Tuichawngchhuah. They asked the Chakma villagers to themselves pull down the bamboos of the under-construction house.

From the photographic and videographic evidence of the incident available with the Chakma NGOs, it is clear that the MSU leaders forced the Chakma villagers to pull down and dismantle one under-construction bamboo house at Tuichawngchhuah village. The villagers reluctantly dismantled the bamboo house while the MSU leaders stood guard. The MSU leaders also allegedly threatened with severe backlash if any new house is constructed in the future. They warned to torch the entire village if their diktat is not obeyed. While returning from the village, the members of the MSU also forced the villagers to pay for their to-and-fro journey expenditure and demanded Rs. 2000 but the impoverished villagers could collect only about Rs 300 which was paid to the MSU leaders.

“The destruction of the minority Chakmas’ house and threats issued to the villagers at Tuichawngchhuah by the alleged members of the Mizo Students Union is a blatant violation of the judgement of the Gauhati High Court, Aizawl bench dated 24.08.2018 in W.P. (C) No. 134 of 2016. Their action is undoubtedly contempt of the Court and constitutes violation of the fundamental rights of citizens who belong to minority community. The Chakmas have the right to construct houses and live freely as per the judgement of the Hon’ble High Court”, the Chakma NGOs said in their joint statement.

“Moreover, there is a temporary police camp stationed at the Tuichawngchhuah village following the burning down of the village school by the Mizo Students Union in February 2016. But the police were merely mute spectators on Thursday. Therefore, it is evident that the MSU members had the tacit support of the Mizoram Police personnel in perpetrating violations of the human rights of the Chakma minorities which is unfortunate. It shows the lawlessness and total impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators,” the Chakma NGOs further stated.

“We urge the chief minister of Mizoram, Pu Zoramthanga and the Director General of Police, Pu Balaji Srivastava to immediately order registration of FIR against the concerned MSU leaders and the police personnel stationed at the village of Tuichawngchhuah, and take stern action against them, and ensure that such barbaric incidents are not repeated in future. We also demand that appropriate compensation be paid to the owner whose house was demolished,” the Chakma leaders demanded.

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