GoI directs to include Chakma and Hajong in COVID-19 relief programme
On May 1, 2020, the Ministry of Development of the North Eastern Region directed Arunachal Pradesh Government to include Hajong and Chakma communities in the COVID-19 relief programme
The Chakma and Hajong communities, the migrants from the then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) are still living in relief camps. They came to India in 1964. There are more than 1 lakh Chakma and Hajong refugees in the country. Apart from these people, there are around 15,000 Chakmas and 2,000 Hajongs in the relief camp set up in Arunachal Pradesh. Even after 50 years, many continue to live here.
What is the issue?
The Chakmas were predominantly Buddhists and the Hajongs were Hindus. They inhabited the Chittagong hills in the regions of East Pakistan. They migrated to India due to the construction of Kaptai dam across the Karnaphuli river in 1960s. They also faced persecution in East Pakistan as they were non-Muslims.
Currently, the tribes do not have citizenship or land rights. However, they are provided the basic amenities.
Karnaphuli is the largest river the in the Chittagong hills. The river originates in Mizoram and flows into Bangladesh and then joins the Bay of Bengal. The tributaries of the Karnaphuli river include Kawrpui river, Phairuang river and Tuichawng river.