Grant Citizenship to Chin Refugees in Mizoram: Chakma NGOs
About 1,600 Chins, many of whom were women and children, have taken refuge in Lawngtlai district of Mizoram.
About 1,600 Chins, many of whom were women and children, have taken refuge in Lawngtlai district of Mizoram.(Photo Courtesy: Google Maps)

Grant Citizenship to Chin Refugees in Mizoram: Chakma NGOs

The Chakma NGOs have submitted a memorandum to the Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday, 29 January, asking the Government of India to further amend the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the forthcoming Budget Session.

Their request is that the government grant Indian citizenship to over one lakh Chin refugees settled in Mizoram.

“The number of Chin refugees in India have become at least over 1.2 lakhs over the years. Further, in November 2017, about 1,600 Chins, many of whom were women and children, fled to Lawngtlai district of Mizoram following a military offensive against the Arakan Army (AA) militants in the Chin State,” the press release said.

“While some have returned home, around 1,440 refugees have reportedly refused to return due to insecurity,” the press release said, quoting Mr Dilip Kanti Chakma, President of the All India Chakma Students Union.

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They noted that about 4,000 Chin refugees are registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in New Delhi but in June 2018, the UNHCR decided to cancel the ‘refugee status’ of the Chin refugees.

This was done on the grounds that Myanmar was now safe for them to return to and that they no longer needed international protection.

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However, the Chin minorities face persecution in Myanmar and are unwilling to return.

Hence, in a joint statement issued by groups such as Rashtriya Chakma Tribal Sangh (RCTS), All India Chakma Students Union (AICSU), All India Chakma Social Forum (AICSF), Mizoram Chakma Students Union (MCSU), among others, the Chakma NGOs appealed to the government for an amendment in the bill, asking for Myanmar to be included along with Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

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