Now that NRC in Assam has been updated, the apprehension of becoming a minority in one’s own state is increasing in the minds of the indigenous people in northeast India. These fears could have been minimised had the NRC update done much earlier.
As North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) including the All Assam Students’ Union are demanding an Assam-like NRC in the rest of the NE states, it shall be a futile exercise for the states of Arunachal, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram as these states are protected by the Inner Line Permit. Migrant workers or business people have to obtain an ILP to enter these states, hence there are lesser chances of finding immigrants with no documentation.
These states need to be worried only with the possibility of immigrants being helped by the people within the state in settling them in.
Take the case of my domicile state of Arunachal Pradesh. The Chakma and Hajongs are immune to the implementation of Assam Accord like situations as they came much before 1971 and settled in NEFA. They are included in the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill that states that all religious minority refugees from neighbouring countries shall be granted Indian Citizenship which we, the indigenous sons of the soil, cannot alter under BJP’s rule. But these 60,000 something Chakmas and Hajongs shall pose a greater risk when they bring or help bring more immigrants from Assam, Tripura, Mizoram and Bangladesh.
Take the case of Lekang, Namsai and Innao. There are many undocumented Ahom, Deori and Adivasis in this area other than those who have been residing in AP for decades. After demanding a Permanent Residence Certificate (PRC), they are also demanding Scheduled Tribe status.
If they bring their fellow caste from Assam, we shall be minorities in our own state.
To better avoid this situation, all Chakmas, Hajongs, Ahom, Deoris and Adivasis should be documented and provided with PRCs and all incoming travellers should be asked for PRCs or PRC-linked documents to avoid further increase in immigrants from these communities.
It’s near to impossible to deport the non-Arunachal Pradesh STs as some have been living within Arunachal for decades. The administration has failed to provide them domicile documents and with this failure, we are unable to distinguish the illegal intruders. As can be seen, all human rights groups, Supreme Court verdicts, BJP govt are all behind them.
The later we are in providing PRCs, the deeper shall be the mess.