By Santu Das
New Delh: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Monday said his government is committed for a ‘permanent’ solution to the vexed Chakma-Hajong issue, and asserted that outsiders cannot make settlements in the frontier state as it is protected under Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR), 1873.
He also said that the state government was relocating the Chakma-Hajong beyond Arunachal Pradesh.
“Chakma-Hajong is a vexed issue in the context of Arunachal Pradesh. They were given refuge in Arunachal by the Government of India with proper identification and documentation. But, over the time, there was an ‘influx’. I had already briefed the Union Home Minister in this regard. We are trying for a permanent solution,” Khandu told UNI on being asked about the reported issuance of residential proof certificate (RPC) to Chakma-Hajong in Changlang district, which stoked a controversy.
The CM had earlier stated that both the BJP governments in the State and at the Centre will work “in a much focused way” and will relocate the illegal immigrants “with proper order” beyond the state.
“Arunachal being a tribal state, as per constitutional provisions, they (Chakmas-Hajongs) cannot settle down in our state….We will solve this vexed issue constitutionally, ” Khandu had then said.
On long pending Arunachal Pradesh-Assam boundary dispute, the CM claimed that the BJP-led government at the Centre brought a ‘new atmosphere’ in the Northeast and all the state governments, including Arunachal Pradesh in the region, are working in this direction to resolve inter-state boundary disputes.
“Me and my Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma already had three meetings. Third was recently held in Namsai. It was showed that 123 villages are under problematic areas. Then out of them, we saw around 37 villages had no disputes.
“By signing the agreement, we took out those villages from the disputed areas. Now, around 86 villages are under disputed areas,” Khandu said, while mentioning about the ‘Namsai Declaration,’ which was signed by him and Sarma on July 15.
He further said, “There is a new ‘atmosphere’ in Northeast under the BJP government at the Center. All the states (NE) are working in this direction (to resolve boundary disputes).”
In response to a question over allegation of Rs 142 crore scam in implementation of Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojna (DDUGJY) project in three districts, Khandu refuted the allegation and said it was an attempt to ‘defame’ the government.
“After BJP came to power in Arunachal Pradesh, we have zero tolerance for corruption. All the work was done as per government norms. All the work has been completed.This is a conspiracy to ‘defame’ the government,’ he said. The matter is already sub-judice, he added.
On 19 labourers missing from Kurung Kumey district, the CM said, “As per report received on Sunday evening, out of 19 missing labourers of Border Roads Organisation (BRO), 10 have been rescued so far. Out of them, health conditions of five were very critical and they were admitted to TRIHMS, Naharlagun.”
The State Disaster Response Force, district administration, locals and Indian Air Force are engaged in rescue and search operations, he added.
On completion of Hollongi airport near Arunachal Pradesh’s capital Itanagar, Khandu said, “The work of Hollongi airport is almost complete. We are trying to start passenger flight service by August 15.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation for construction of Hollongi airport on February 9, 2019.