But says Article 371(A) will protect Nagaland from CAB
Dimapur, May 25: MP Lok Sabha, Tokheho Yepthomi has indicated that the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) poses no threat to Northeast India and Nagaland. While the newly elect MP did not said this directly, this was apparent when he termed the claim that once CAB is passed crores of immigrants will overrun NE India as “totally false” and misleading.
Tokheho also reiterated that as long as Nagaland State has Article 371A, no outsiders can come and stay “in our houses and lands” without giving them the right to do so.
“There has been a lot of debate about Citizenship Amendment Bill, CAB. It has become very important for the matter to be clarified, since it has been misconstrued and has become a propaganda tool. It has been wrongly put in the public domain that once CAB is passed the entire region of Northeast India will be overrun by “crores” of immigrants waiting at the borders of neighboring countries. This notion is totally false and has misled a lot of people,” said the newly elect Member of Parliament in a press release.
Tokheho claimed that the CAB will only grant immediate citizenship to immigrants who have entered India prior to 31 December 2014. To know the facts about the CAB, he asked all to only look at the report of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on CAB, 2016.
Citing the JPC report, he said during its sittings the committee queried about the number of persons belonging to minority communities who would benefit from the proposed Amendment on the basis of religious persecution. In response, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) informed as follows: “As per our records, there are 31,313 persons belonging to minority communities (Hindus – 25447, Sikhs – 5807, Christians – 55, Buddhists – 2 and Parsis -2) who have been given Long Term Visa on the basis of their claim of religious persecution in their respective countries and want Indian Citizenship. Hence, these persons will be immediate beneficiaries”.
On the query of the fate of other people belonging to minority communities who have come to India from the three countries under reference due to religious persecution but have not declared so at the time of their arrival in India, Tokheho cited the JPC report where the Intelligence Bureau had submitted as under: “For other to apply for Indian Citizenship under this category, they will have to prove that they cam to India due to religious persecution. If they have not declared so at the time of their arrival in India, it would be difficult for them to make such a claim now.Any future claim will be enquired into, including through R&AW before a decision is taken”.
Tokheho asked the people who have “twisted and propagated” that the CAB will allow crores of refugees from neighboring countries into the Northeast of India to try and comprehend the ramifications of their “false notion” on CAB. Parliament will only act within the proposed draft submitted by the empowered committee, he said.
Stating that the Government of Nagaland under the Chief Minister held consultative meetings in January 2019 with all legislators, NGOs and civil societies for deliberations and resolutions were adopted to protect the people and the State, he said Nagaland Congress party and NPF did not participate in the consultations and now continue to speak about CAB to confuse the people.
“There is no way that ‘crores’ of people will be given Indian Citizenship like the NPCC President presumes once the CAB is passed. I urge the NPCC President to kindly not speculate and misguide the Naga people as to what will happen in a decade without ascertaining the facts. As long as Nagaland State has Article 371A, no outsiders can come and stay in our houses and lands without giving them the right to do so,” he said.
Tokheho also attached a link (https://www.prsindia.org/sites/default/files/bill_files/Joint%20committee%20report%20on%20citizenship%20%28A%29%20bill.pdf) to the Joint Parliamentary Committee’s report on CAB 2016 for all to go through and make up their mind. (Page News Service)