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Centre to grant citizenship to Chakma, Hajong refugees

Thursday, September 14, 2017

New Delhi: The Centre will grant citizenship to all Chakma and Hajong refugees living in the Northeast but ensure that the rights of indigenous people are not diluted, Union minister Kiren Rijiju said today.

The Chakma-Hajong refugee issue was discussed threadbare at a high level meeting convened by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and attended by Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Union Minister of State for Home Rijiju and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval among others.

Addressing reporters after the hour-long meeting, Rijiju said a "middle ground" would be chosen so the 2015 Supreme Court order to grant citizenship to Chakma-Hajong refugees could be honoured and the rights of the local population not diluted.

"The Supreme Court order has to be honoured. Chakmas are settled in Arunachal Pradesh since 1964. But ST status and indigenous people's rights won't be diluted," he said.

The initiative on the Chakma and Hajong refugees comes amid the ongoing row over the Central government's plans to deport Rohingya Muslims, who came to India due to alleged persecution in Myanmar.

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