Mizoram: Chakmas in Category I, again

The Chakma tribes are back in Category- I (indigenous) in Mizoram, again. This status has been restored today by the Gauhati High Court at Gauhati principle bench, according to senior Chakma leaders. It is stated in the social media that the court restored the petition filed by the Mizoram Chakma Students Union (MCSU) which was dismissed earlier on 2 May 2018 by the Aizawl bench of the high court for non-prosecution.

It is pertinent to mention that in 2016, the MCSU had challenged the notification of the Mizoram (Selection of Candidates for Higher Technical Courses) Rules, 2016 notified in Mizoram Gazette by Mizoram Government which included the Chakmas who are Scheduled Tribes in Category II (Non Indigenous) while Mizos were put in Category I (Indigenous). And the Gauhati High Court had stayed the operation of the said 2016 Rules.

But the case was allegedly transferred without the knowledge of the petitioners to Aizawl bench and the case was dismissed for repeated non appearance of the lawyer of the petitioners.

Chakma activists say since both Mizos and Chakma are Scheduled Tribes and the State cannot discriminate against its citizens on grounds of ethnicity, among others, the said 2016 Rules are illegal and unconstitutional. They also stated that because of this arbitrary and illegal categorization of Chakmas in Category II, Chakma students have been deprived of admissions in MBBS/BDS, engineering and other courses.

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