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Arunachal Chief Minister urged to order inquiry into COVID-19 scam in the Chakmas and Hajong inhabited areas of Diyun, Changlang district

New Delhi: The Rights and Risks Analysis Group (RRAG) today urged Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu to order a high level inquiry by the Chief Secretary into COVID-19 scam at Diyun-Bordumsa, Changlang district in light of the non-receipt of any food ration by the Chakmas and Hajongs and prevailing hunger and starvation among them, contrary to the claims of an unnamed local official in The Arunachal Times today that free rations were distributed to the Chakmas and Hajongs.

Click here to access letter to Hon’ble Chief Minister

After the Rights and Risks Analysis Group (RRAG) filed a complaint with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on massive starvation among 65,875 Chakmas and Hajongs of Arunachal Pradesh yesterday, an unnamed local official of Diyun circle claimed in The Arunachal Times that “50 quintals of rice have been distributed free of cost to the most needy Chakmas and Hajongs in Diyun area. Another 50 quintals will be distributed this week, free of cost, to the most needy in Diyun”.

“The said statement of the unnamed local official is false. On numerous occasions the local officials asked to submit the list of extremely poor people and a list of 1,544 families of extremely poor Chakmas and Hajongs who were on the verge of starvation as daily labourers were submitted to the Extra Assistant Commissioner (EAC) on 17th April 2020, followed by another list of 619 families on 24th April 2020. However, no rice was distributed to any Chakma or Hajongs as on date. This proves that the rice and other facilities might have been sanctioned by the State government but never reached the beneficiaries, indicating a massive scam.” – stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of the Rights and Risks Analysis Group.

Mr Chakma further urged, “The price of rice for those Above Poverty Line (APL) in Arunachal Pradesh is Rs 11/per kg at present. Therefore, selling of rice at Rs 29/kg at retail rate to the Chakmas or Hajongs who do not receive any assistance and who are not included in any welfare scheme of the Government is morally and legally unconscionable.”

The Rights and Risks Analysis Group also urged the Chief Minister to direct the Deputy Commissioner of Changlang district to video record the distribution of free rations to those suffering starvation to avoid pilferage, to sell the rice at the Above Poverty Line rate of Rs 11/kg for the all Chakmas and Hajongs till the National Food Security Act of 2013 is implemented in their areas; and implement the NFSA in the Chakma and Hajong inhabited areas. [Ends]

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