India grants citizenship to Chakma, Hajong refugees

The Buddhist Chakmas (in pic) and Hindu Hajongs began trickling into India in the early 1960s after the Kaptai dam project submerged their land in Chittagong Hill Tracts.

The Buddhist Chakmas (in pic) and Hindu Hajongs began trickling into India in the early 1960s after the Kaptai dam project submerged their land in Chittagong Hill Tracts. File photo/Hindustan Times/Pronib Das

Zee Media Bureau | Zee News

NEW DELHI, India, 18 September 2017

The Government of India has reportedly granted citizenship to Chakma and Hajong refugees after the Supreme Court asked it to expedite their requests.

They, however, cannot own land and will have to apply for Inner Line Permits, the Times of India reported, citing the government.

In 2015, the apex court had directed the Centre to confer citizenship on them.

Chakmas and Hajongs had migrated from Bangladesh’s Chittagong Hill Tracts after they were displaced by the Kaptai dam project in the 1960s.

They also faced religious persecution, since they are Buddhists and Hindus.

Some one lakh Chakma and Hajong refugees are believed to staying in India.

A home ministry survey in 2010-11 had found that over 53,000 refugees had been been living in the three districts of Arunachal Pradesh.

According to TOI, a new group of 45,000 Chakmas had crossed over to Tripura from Bangladesh in 1987.

In a significant step in 2005, the Election Commission issued guidelines to include them in the electoral rolls of Arunachal Pradesh.


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