Representatives of Bru, Chakma communities meet NCM Vice-Chairman
Aizawl | Wednesday, Mar 24 2010 IST
Capitalising on the visit of National Commission for Minorities Vice-Chairman H T Sangliana, representatives of Bru, Chakma and Hmar communities in Mizoram apprised the vice-chairman about their difficulties and problems.
Dr Sangliana arrived at Aizawl yesterday on a five-day visit to the state.
In his introductory words to the interaction programme held at the Chief Secretary's conference hall, Dr Sangliana said he was sent here to see if the minorities in the state were enjoying their rights provided by the National Minorities Commission Act, 1992. He assured the representatives that he would look into their grievances.
The vice-chairman said even though Mizoram looked peaceful and calm from outside, there had been a few cases of communal tension which could trigger major conflicts. He emphasised on the crucial importance of maintaining cordial relationship among majority and minority communities and the role of the government, NGOs and the Churches in maintaining communal harmony.
He said even if the government wanted to usher in rapid developments in Chakma and Bru areas, there had to be peaceful atmosphere.
The vice-chairman said notwithstanding differences in caste or community, every citizen of Mizoram should consider himself as ''first class citizen''. ''Only when there is harmony among different communities of Mizoram, then peace and development can become a reality,'' he said.
The Bru representatives requested him that the 'Special Development Project' for Bru community in Mizoram be implemented now instead of waiting for the repatriation of the Bru refugees from the six relief camps in North Tripura. The vice-chairman suggested that the matter would be discussed during his visit to Tripura with the Bru refugees there and Bru leaders from Mizoram.
Congress MLA Nirupam Chakma requested Mr Sangliana to visit the Chakma area in Southern Mizoram to have a on-the-spot inquiry on the condition of the Chakmas. The Chakma representative also apprised the vice-chairman about the ''plight of Chakma families affected by the ongoing Indo-Bangla border fencing''.
Representatives of Hmars expressed concern over the four proposed hydel projects in Hmar area (Sinlung Hills Development Council) that would allegedly render hundreds of Hmar families homeless. They demanded rehabilitation for these affected people. They also expressed grievances that Rs 250 lakh allocated in the SHDC Annual Budget was ''too meagre'' and demanded increment.