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Principal forcefully removes Chakma students from school
On August 21, six Chakma students were forcefully removed from a government school by the principal in Changlang district, Arunachal Pradesh. The students were admitted following interventions by NCPCR. Earlier on August 13, eight students from the same community were removed from the school.

IN A shocking move, the principal of a government school has forcibly removed six students in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh on 21 August 2012. The students were asked to collect their school leaving certificates and leave the school forthwith while they were attending a class.

On August 21, the six students, as usual, went to school clueless that the day would be their last day in the school. The 9th standard students of the Government Higher Secondary School, Miao in Changlang district belong to the Chakma community. This is the first time the school had admitted Chakma students since 1995, made possible only following interventions by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).

As per information received by this citizen journalist , P Nebang, Principal of the school, directed the students to leave the school as their presence in the school 'may invite physical attacks on them by students of other communities'. The Principal while directing them to collect their school leaving certificate (SLCs) asked them to take admission at a school in a different administrative circle. The students, having no option, left the school but did not collect the SLCs.

Prior to this shocking decision of the Principal, the Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC), Miao in a letter dated on 17 August 2012 summoned the guardians of the six Chakma students to his office to discuss the admission issue of their wards. As directed, the guardians of the six students met the ADC, Miao on 21 August. The ADC, Miao informed them that the Chakma students cannot be allowed to study in the school due to opposition by the local communities and that there was   a likelihood of violence against them by other students if they continue to attend classes. The ADC further stated that if the Chakma students are harmed he will not be able to save them as it will take at least hours to reach them and to provide police protection. He will not be responsible for any untoward incidents against them and therefore he will not allow the Chakma students to continue in the school.

When the guardians requested the ADC to at least allow their wards to study for this session, he stated that “if they are allowed to continue studies it will be difficult to get them leave the school later”.

It is important to mention here that the Chakma students never complained of any harassment by other students who treated them well since they were admitted in the school. It is alleged that these students were removed from the school due to ethnic origin. The school authorities and the administration allegedly do not want any Chakma students to study in this school. This school is the only secondary level school in the Miao circle.

This citizen journalist has further learnt that eight Chakma students were removed from the school on 13 August on the same ground. Pursuant to interventions of NCPCR a total of 14 Chakma students were admitted in the school. These students are yet to get admission and are on the verge of losing a precious academic year.

The school where the Chakma students were asked to take admission is a middle school, which has been recently upgraded to secondary level, is far from their villages and there is no infrastructure including teaching staff. The school is upgraded only on paper.

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