Arunachal Pradesh: At least 50 Chakmas barred from selling vegetables at a local market

At least 50 Chakmas, mostly women, were on Sunday forced to stop selling vegetables at a local weekly market in Namsai district of Arunachal Pradesh.

The vendors, who were from Diyun area in nearby Changlang district, often used to sell vegetables and other agricultural products at Namsai and other weekly markets to eke out a living.

The persons who forced the vendors to return without selling have not been identified.

The local police remained clueless about the incident.

The vendors have suffered enormous losses due to the unlawful action of the unidentified persons. Some of them have been identified as Maloti Chakma,  Bala Chakma, Bodubi Chakma, Jyotika Chakma, Gorikya Chakma, and Shanti Bala Chakma.

The vendors were reportedly asked not to sell until their demand is fulfilled. However, they have not clarified their so-called demand.

Pertinently, an organisation by the nomenclature, Cultural and Literary Society of Mishmi (CALSOM) last week had reportedly adopted a resolution to impose economic blockade and boycott on the Chakmas and Hajongs in Lohit and Anjaw districts, local media reported.

The economic blockade, among others, included not allowing selling of vegetables, livestock and other agricultural products at Medo Sunday Market and the entire Mishmi belt.

In 1994-95, at least 144 Chakmas had died due to lack of access to medical and ration supplies following the imposition of economic blockade against the Chakmas in the State. The large number of deaths owing to the blockade was noted by the Supreme Court in its judgement delivered in January 1996.

In its ruling, the apex Court directed the Arunachal government and Centre to strictly ensure the life and liberty of the Chakmas in the state and to take action against those individuals or groups who take such unlawful measures.

The Supreme Court in its ruling in September 2015 reiterated the 1996 order and asked the Centre and State to not to discriminate against the Chakmas in any manner.

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