AIZAWL, Aug 17 - The Chakma community in Mizoram today observed the Chakma ‘black day’ at Kamalanagar, the headquarters of the Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC), in south Mizoram.
Political leaders, NGO representatives, students, intellectuals and CADC employees joined the protest programme organised by the Chakma National Council of India (CNCI), Mizoram State Committee. The day was observed by the Chakmas of Mizoram for the fourth time.
Rasik Mohan Chakma, president of CNCI, Mizoram, and other Chakma leaders spoke on the significance of the day. All the protesters wore black badges in solidarity.
The Chakma ‘black day’ is observed as a mark of protest against the forced occupation of the homeland of the Chakmas at the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in Bangladesh by the Pakistani army in 1947.
Today’s gathering condemned the award of the CHT to Pakistan during the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947. It also blamed the then Indian leadership for the meek effort they made to include the CHT within the dominion of India despite legitimate and strong grounds.
It was also claimed that the western strip of present-day Mizoram where there is concentration of the Chakma population, was a part of the CHT before 1900 and later enjoined with the South Lushai Hills for administrative convenience by the British India Government.
The meeting observed that this has led to the present situation in which the Chakmas of Mizoram have come to be treated as foreigners on their own ancestral homeland. Chakmas are treated as second-class citizens and subjected to untold discrimination due to this mistaken identity, those who attended the meeting rued.