Dimapur, November 18: Strongly opposing the plan to introduce the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the winter session of Parliament, the North East Students’ Organization (NESO) has demanded that the Bill should not be brought back but instead Inner Line Permit system be introduced for the entire region, National Register of Citizens (NRC) with a base year for each states be implemented and also Constitutional safeguard granted to the people of NE states that must delegate vast federal authority including the rights over land and its natural resources.
In separate memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, NESO expressed dismay and displeasure that the Government of India has again intended to introduce the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament.
NESO comprises of All Arunachal Pradesh Student’s Union (AAPSU), All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU), Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), Garo Students’ Union (GSU), Mizo Zirlai Paul (MZP) and Twipura Students’ Federation (TSF), representing the students’ community of the entire region belonging to different languages and religions.
In the memorandum, NESO reminded of the tension and public agitation in the whole of North East in the month of January and February 2019 when the Centre tried to get the Bill passed in the Rajya Sabha, which ultimately was not tabled taking into account the sentiments of the indigenous peoples of NE.
Highlighting that the entire North East Region is infested with foreigners from the erstwhile East Pakistan and now, Bangladesh, NESO said they have infiltrated into and polluted every aspect of our social life. “The politicians have supported them which threaten the identity of the indigenous peoples of the region. All the states of the region have suffered badly due to the illegal flow of the foreigners without any hindrance.”
NESO also reminded that many states of the North East have taken the load of Hindu refugees who have migrated due to the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971 and this Citizen (Amendment) Bill is again an attempt to impose the burden of the post-1971 Hindu Bangladeshis in the entire NE region, which, it said, is not justified and that “North East is not a dumping ground for illegal Bangladeshis and to us ‘a foreigner is a foreigner irrespective of his religion’.”
Stating that the proposed Bill will defeat the very purpose of signing the Assam Accord, NESO said it opposes the objective of the Bill and it should not be adopted by Parliament under any circumstances.
“Such an undesirable step by Parliament will once again agitate the entire North East region. We all have a responsibility to avoid such a potentiality,” it warned.
“We feel that the North East Region remains a distant place for the Union Government. The Union government do not understand our problems and our aspirations. Our social structure, our history and our cultural values are unknown to the rest of the country. The intended Bill is the latest example that the lawmakers of the country have no regard for the future of the indigenous peoples of the North East Region.”
The NESO requested the PM and HM to consider its appeal on behalf of the students’ community in particular and the indigenous peoples of the whole North East region in general. (Page News Service)