CRDO’s representation during the Peace Committee meeting at Miao

Team CRDO made the following submissions during the Peace Committee meeting with the civil administration, community leaders, GBs, CBOs, Student Bodies and other stakeholders organized by the Deputy Commissioner of Changlang, Arunachal Pradesh at Miao with regards to the recent incident at Kathan.

CRDO, represented by its General Secretary at the meeting called upon all stakeholders not to misrepresent the boundary dispute as a communal issue and to maintain peace and respect the status quo until a mutually agreeable solution is arrived at. CRDO also proposed a way forward with mutual respect and taking into confidence all the relevant stakeholders. This is also outlined in its memorandum below:

Dated Miao the 25th June 2021

Shri Devansh Yadav, IAS
Convener, Peace Committee cum Deputy Commissioner
Camp: Miao
District Changlang, Arunachal Pradesh

Sub: Mutual respect, trust and understanding between neighbouring communities is key to maintain peace and communal harmony.

Dear Sir,
We, on behalf of CRDO as the apex Community Based Organization of Chakmas of AP applaud the peace talk initiative taken by the administration under your leadership and thank you for allowing us to participate in these discussions, and would like to place the following points for your kind attention and consideration please:

We strongly condemn the events leading up to the Kathan incident of June 16th and those responsible must be brought to justice in accordance with law. At the same time, freedom of faith and worship and religious sentiment of people must be respected, and the missing Buddha statue should be investigated and returned to the place where it belongs.

We are also concerned at the undue politicisation of the incident and unnecessary turmoil created in social media channels. We all must take a step back, pause and reflect at the facts and circumstances of the case objectively. The issue has been politicized and blown out of proportion and must be dealt with right dose of sensitivity.

Problems are a part of human life and they do can occur at times even between brothers in any society, but it is wrong to take this one incident and blame all Chakmas and brand them as ‘illegal settlers’, ‘refugees’, ‘criminals’ and what not. Such one-sided binary worldview and reductionist approach will not do any good to strengthen the social fabric and cordial relationship between the neighbouring communities living together for 3-4 generations now.

It is time now for all right-thinking individuals, civil society organizations and community leaders to move forward from ‘blame game’ to a ‘solution-searching’ mode with honesty and utmost sincerity. The Chakma Hajong issue has been pending for too long and if not resolved soon it will lead to cancerous consequences. No wonder, all Chakma issues, big or small, become controversial.

Historically, borders and partitions were created to solve problems, but in the present case, it appears that the creation of the traditional boundary has led to confusion because Chakma and Mishmi neighbours sharing the same geographical area must know as to which part of the terrain belongs to whom and both sides must have a ‘say’ in drawing that boundary line.

While physical borders are visible and can be changed easily, what’s more alarming is the invisible borders created in our minds. Why is it that we consider somebody a ‘nobody’ and dub someone as “nothing”, and bring in “citizens” vs “refugees”, “local” vs “outsider” binary frames of references when it has nothing to do with the incident? We must break these mental barriers.

No problem can be solved permanently where one party tried to bully and/or silence the other in the name of religion, caste, colour, ethnicity, or nationality. The anti-apartheid movement in South Africa or of the Blacks in general is a shining example. When we embrace the philosophy of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” and treat the entire world as one family, we must also remember that hatred, calling names, bullying the weak in the name of citizenship or place of origin has no place in such an all-encompassing framework.

Reminding the Chakmas every time of their past, either in Pakistan or linkage to Bangladesh as victims of human rights violations is not relevant. It is a thing of the past and unlike the Tibetans, who are settled temporarily as ‘honoured guests’, the case of the Chakmas and Hajongs is different as they had been brought to NEFA by the Govt of India with the intention of permanent settlement and were duly rehabilitated under various settlement schemes. This is a fact of history and must be accepted by all.

The Chakmas are indeed grateful and indebted to the fellow Buddhist Singpho leaders for accommodating the Chakmas when they came as ‘refugees’ way back in 1960s. However, it is also true that Chakmas were settled mostly in vacant lands and had to face attacks from wild beasts and animals, faced the fury of devastating floods year after year. We have come a long way in the process of cultural and national integration and this process must be kept ongoing.

Despite 5 decades after rehabilitation, the condition of the Chakma population continues to remain grim – economically backward and politically marginalized. Except for a few families, the majority Chakmas continue to struggle to meet both their ends.

What is needed is a focus on economic growth and development of the Deban area which has remained mostly remote, socially, educationally and economically backward and inaccessible. It has become a fertile ground for underground/insurgent groups like the NSCN to harass, force extortion of money from poor Chakma villagers and recruit vulnerable youths with threats or coercion. With limited rights and no ST, PRC, ration card and employment opportunities or financial means, Chakma youths become easy target. Development preceded by construction of roads, electricity, drinking water, establishment of schools, medical centres and restoration of basic rights is the need of the hour.

On behalf of CRDO, we would like to place the following points for your kind consideration and necessary action please.

  1. Respect existing territorial rights and ownership of land in the disputed /Kathan area and maintain status quo (status prior to traditional boundary line demarcation of 6th April 2021). Jhum cultivation and harvesting of crops should be allowed to the farmers but no encroachment and fresh incursions should be allowed from either side.
  2. Maintain peace and social harmony in the area through continued imposition of Sec 144 and and stop/prohibit unauthorised visit of the disputed area by various groups like AAPSU. There have been reports of threat, intimidation and fear created in the mind of the local Chakma population. Protection of life, liberty and livelihood should be of utmost priority.
  3. Review the traditional boundary line of 6th April and include representation from Chakma villagers/CBOs to gain consensus and acceptability of the stakeholders, and modify the boundary line if required, in the largest interest of peace and harmony in consultation with local inputs from the ground and historical data available on political boundary /administrative maps of Miao circle. Alignment with the pending demarcation of Changlang and Lohit district political boundary is imperative.
  4. Focus on economic development of the area: Provide access to poverty alleviation schemes like MGNREGA / PMJAY /PMGKAY / DDUBY / BADP/ etc. and access to basic Birth Certificates, RC/PRC/ST for job opportunities, restoration of ration cards, employment, entrepreneurship, etc. Construction of roads, establishment of schools and medical centres in the area will help bring the people on track to the path of progress.
  5. Devise ways and means to stop insurgency activities in the area and provide protection to the villagers from undue pressure, harassment, forced recruitment of vulnerable youths and extortion of money from poor innocent Chakma villagers.
  6. There is a need for a common platform among the civil society organizations/ CBOs of different tribes to discuss current issues as well as potential issues and maintain cordial relationship between neighbouring communities. This will go a long way in addressing issues proactively. The local office can take the initiative and moderate these discussions initially.

We believe that the power of peace is stronger than the power of violence and war. The past is gone and cannot be undone but we have the present moment with us now to act and march towards a new beginning – and establish an authentic relationship based on ‘love thy neighbour’ where there is genuine affection, trust and mutual respect for each other as neighbours. Let’s take the first step in that direction and aspire for a world filled with love, understanding and compassion.

Looking forward to a new journey towards peaceful co-existence,

Sincerely yours,

Mahendra Chakma

Udayan Chakma
Vice President

Anton Chakma
General Secretary

Copy to:

All Concerned Community Leaders / GBs /Intellectuals
President / Secretary of NGOs/ CBOs

About CRDO:
CRDO is a Community Based Organization (CBO) of the vulnerable and marginalized Chakma Buddhist tribals of Arunachal Pradesh working for full-fledged restoration of their rights and entitlements. Our vision is to create a world free from discrimination where everyone has equal access to rights and opportunities. Our motto: Live and Let Live!

CRDO’s representation to the Hon’ble Chief Minister, AP

Deban March 25, 2021: On the 2nd day of his 4-day-tour of the Changlang District, Shri Pema Khandu – the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, reached Miao/Deban areas where he interacted with the local communities. The tour also included a 157km 2-day trek from Miao to Vijaynagar. (Read CRDO’s report on the Chakma ration porters on this route)

The Hon’ble CM tweeted of his visit to the Deban area.

A delegation from the CRDO met the Hon’ble Chief Minister in Deban. They apprised him of the challenges being faced by the Chakma people, an issue which has been unnecessarily allowed to linger on for too long.

Shri Anton Chakma, GS, CRDO submitting the memorandum to Shri Pema Khandu, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh
The CRDO team with Shri Pema Khandu, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh

The team submitted a memorandum to the Hon’ble Chief Minister on behalf of Joint Chakma Community Based Organisations of Arunachal Pradesh. The memorandum signed by all the leading NGOs , GBs, social workers of the community among others, urged the Hon’ble Chief Minister for the early restoration of the rights of the Chakmas of Arunachal Pradesh, including ST, PRC, Ration Cards, coverage under Govt. schemes, voter enrollment and revocation of several Govt. Circulars / Orders which took away the rights of the Chakmas.

Read the memorandum here:

Circular for Tiruppur stranded brethren


Date: 10/06/2020

It has been reported to CRDO that about one hundred of our Tiruppur brethren have been handed tokens to travel onboard a train scheduled for departure at around 3 PM tomorrow June 11, 2020. Apparently, they are now very excited and impatient.

On verification by CRDO with SDM as well as DC, Changlang, it has been confirmed that this particular train is not meant for stranded migrants from Arunachal Pradesh and that the tokens were given away by mistake on the part of the local officials for whom it is extremely difficult to differentiate among people of the different states of Northeast.

The SDM categorically warned that “Tomorrow’s train isn’t for workers from Arunachal Pradesh. It is only for Assam and Mizoram. There will be another train for Arunachal Pradesh in next 2-3 days. Workers will be informed about the details once it’s confirmed. So ask Arunachal Pradesh workers not to go to Railway station tomorrow.” He further appealed that our Tiruppur brethren must not head to the railway station tomorrow as it might lead to untoward incidents.

Further, DC Changlang said that “It is not for Arunachal Pradesh. This was issued for Assam and not for Arunachal.” He also confirmed that for Arunachal brethren there will be the next train in 1-2 days.

Therefore, in view of the above, all Tiruppur brethren including those who have been issued tokens to travel as well as those who don’t have tokens are advised with all urgency and seriousness that they must not head to the railway station tomorrow. Rather, wait for 2-3 days more for confirmation from SDM and DC Changlang themselves before a train for Arunachal workers is arranged. For any clarification, please contact @ 97382 05832 / 78993 94688 / 88373 83150

Stay calm and stay safe.

Covid-19 Update: 7-June-2020

DC, Changlang interacts with the Chakma migrant workers of Tiruppur, TN.

Today, Dr Devansh Yadav (IAS), DC, Changlang connected with the Chakma migrant workers stranded at Tiruppur virtually via video conferencing call. The meeting was triggered after the submission of CRDO Survey Report to the DC directly this morning. The meeting was convened to address and mitigate the growing anxiety and desperation of our stranded brethren and most importantly assure them of the Government’s plan to address all those concerns.

Few key takeaways from the meeting:

  1. To provide ration supplies to the stranded in the next two days, especially those who are in critical needs. (It may be noted that the Administration has already provided ration supplies yesterday)
  2. To arrange train for the safe return of the stranded in the next week two weeks. Train will be scheduled and will be informed in advance.
  3. He reiterated not to fall prey to the fraudulent market token agents and to trust official communication from the SDM, Tiruppur for token distribution.
  4. To allow financial help through CMRF to those who could not avail benefits last time.
  5. He advised them not to return by bus as going by the present circumstances it is not all feasible physically, mentally and financially.
  6. The DC gave a patient hearing to all the concerns and queries raised by the stranded brethren.

CRDO convened, moderated and oversaw the whole virtual meeting from start to finish. The icing on the cake was that our stranded brethren are now much relieved off stress and anxiety, most importantly reassured after having a face to face interaction with their own honourable DC of Changlang. As for CRDO it was worth every bit of the painstaking efforts. CRDO would like to sincerely thank the honourable DC for taking his valuable time out despite being a Sunday today.

Covid-19 Update: 6-June-2020

Administration supplies food and essentials to Chakma migrants of Arunachal Pradesh stranded in Tiruppur, TN.
Relief items being distributed by the state administration.

CRDO’s multilateral approach to address and find the best possible solutions for our stranded brothers and sisters is paying off with tangible results. A testimony to this is this- we recently rolled out a google form in consultation with the District Administration with an intention of procuring information about our migrant brethren, which helped us understand the challenges faced by them and thereby mitigate accordingly.

We have submitted the preliminary findings and taking cognizance of the same, the Administration acted swiftly. Today, the local authorities have distributed food and other supplies (Dal, Oil and 10 quintals of rice) for 100 people living in 50 Compound, Karuvapalyam, Tiruppur. CRDO comprehensive data procuring effort has for sure brought relief to the lives of many and we hope that many more will benefit in days to come, while we continue to raise the level of our efforts.

CRDO Advisory to stranded migrants

HOSPANA JANONI ( Kind Attention) to Changma MAA-BON, BAAP-BEY lok, stranded in various towns and cities in India

Bekkunorey ju ju 🙏🙏🙏

  1. Doyeguri baspada gaspada hobor bijsej nojeyo. ( Please do not believe in rumours).
  2. Ami tomar dukh hostoh ani buji parir. Settey ami district administration oy temmang sulok guriney SURVEY gurir tomar dukh hosto aani hibabey dhur gori para jai. Doyegurey jadi madi SURVEY FORM – aan bosso. ( We can understand your pains and sufferings. Therefore in consultation with district administration, a SURVEY is being conducted to address your issues. Please fill it up immediately).
  3. Doyeguri toma bara- gorani aandas guri irinodoh (Please do not vacate your rented accommodation until confirmation).
  4. Gom hobor olodah factorigun hullon, settey haamor sojuk bari jaar (Good news is factories are opening, and therefore increase of job opportunities)
  5. Doyeguri baaluk baar babi cheyo gorot jebaar akkey. Tumi hoborpo sidu poristiti bari harap (Please think many times before leaving for home. You know situation is very bad there).
  6. Tumi judi gorot jo, tomar poribar, hudummo aro bek onno anno Changma ghun-ohr corana viras – jor risk agey (If you go home, your family, relatives n all other Chakmas are at risk of corona virus).
  7. Tumi judi tomar boribaar aro somaj hojpeley, doyeguri, gorot nojeyo. Murot guri chintey guriney, judi hissu uphoi notai, tey gorot jeyo, (If you love your family and society, please do not go home. After thinking deeply, if there is no other alternative left, then only go home).
  8. Doyeguri hor dhojyo noareyo (Please do not lose patience)
  9. Hono hissu bisoy janibar teley, doyeguri phone gosso (Please feel free to call for guidance)
  10. Doyeguri Social Distance palon goscho aro Covid -19 aayen kanoon mani chollo(Please maintain Social Distance and Covid – 19 guidelines)

Gomey takko(Take care)👍👍👍


( Chakma Rights and Development Organisation),
Diyun, AP.

Contact Persons:

  1. Sanjay Chakma – 9738205832
  2. Anton Chakma – 8837383150
  3. Vivekananda Chakma – 7011053139
  4. Arijit Chakma – 9980650764

Note : Je Chakma goon South Indiat agoh, bana siguney Survey Form aan bosso (Survey Form to be filled up by Chakmas stranded in South India)

Covid-19 Update: 4-June-2020

CRDO resolves issue of harassment of stranded migrants

A distress call was made to CRDO at around 8.40 am today informing us that the landlord is again harassing/ and asking rental from the stranded brethren at 50 compound, Karuvapalyam, especially those who left their earlier rooms hoping to go by home by train the other day on 30 May(about 30 of them)and took refuge in the rooms in the 50 Compound building, Karuvapalyam.

The matter was immediately reported to the officials. Action was taken swiftly enough.

Covid-19 Update: 30-May-2020

Major issue resolved with regards to stranded migrant workers

We are glad to share with everyone that CRDO has been able to resolve today’s issues that had arisen and escalated quickly.

Here is the series of events that have unfolded today:

10:00 am: CRDO received a distress call that a large number of stranded migrant workers have gathered in one school and are being chased away by the police.

10:10: am: Various calls made to stranded workers revealed that they were told to report to the Railway Station by the police. Upon reaching the Railway Station, they realised that it was a false information as no such train is arranged. Source of it is unknown. Some say it was a ‘verbal communication by the police’- leading to utter confusion and commotion on the ground.

11: 30 am: Reports have come in that all the stranded migrant who have earlier vacated their rooms are not being allowed to enter into their rooms.
12:00 noon: CRDO constituted a SWAT team to tide over the crisis. The immediate task was to identify all the possible stranded migrant workers, thereby to help them to get back to their rooms without any fear and harassment.

12:15 pm:CRDO’s team swung into action.

1:00 pm: Reports have come in that around 160 Chakmas who have earlier vacated their rooms at 50 Compound are facing the wrath of the landlord-to the extent that he even started throwing their bags/ belongings out of their rooms forcefully.

1:15 pm: CRDO tried speaking with the landlords, it didn’t help in most of the cases. However, few landlords did understand the issue and allowed them to re-occupy their rooms, however with some advance rental fees. In the meantime, the landlord at 50 Compound, Karuvapalyam was adamant and even forcefully started throwing their bags/ belongings out of their rooms. CRDO made direct contact with the Local Administration top brass-SDM, SP, Nodal Officer and pressed and urged on them to resolve the crisis as a top most priority.

3: 30 pm: Police team, led by the SP herself reached the spot, summoned the landlord.

4:30pm: Matter is resolved.

CRDO thanks all the volunteers and the local administration and the police department for their timely action to avert aggravating the already tense scenario with respect to the migrant workers who have been jobless since the lockdown.

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