Present CAB attempts to legitimize defaulters: NEFIP

Present CAB attempts to  legitimize defaulters: NEFIP

Dimapur, September 11: The North East Forum for Indigenous People (NEFIP), representing the Indigenous population of the Northeastern region of India while welcoming the assurance made by Union Home Minister Amit Shah to protect and safeguard the identities, culture and customs of the indigenous people of the region and to remove all illegal migrants from the entire region, termed his assurances as empty, misleading and double standard since the very concept of CAB is an attempt to naturalise citizenship of illegal immigrants in the region.
The NEFIP strongly opposed to the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, in its present form which inter alia seeks to provide that persons belonging to minority communities, that is, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan shall not be treated as illegal immigrants and that the Third Schedule of the 1955 Act is proposed to be amended to decrease the residency requirement from 11 years to six years.
It said the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 seeks to make drastic changes in the citizenship and immigration norms of the country by relaxing the criteria to become an Indian citizen.
It further said the present Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 is an attempt to legitimise the defaulters and is prima facie unconstitutional and against Article 14 (Right to Equality) of the Constitution and corrupting the basic concept of Secularism as per the Doctrine of Basic structures of the Constitution of India.
“It will be totally incorrect to believe that the people of the Northeast do not know what will benefit them or not and such type of imposition of bio power despite the opposition to it is nothing but a hangover of the colonial mindset and interior colonisation to enforce a strict demographic hierarchy through suppressing the indigenous people of this region, which will further distance them from the mainstream,” a press release issued by Khuraijam Athouba, Secretary, NEFIP stated.
NEFIP appealed to the leadership at the centre not to take the North East Indigenous people for a ride with rhetoric assurances but to address our concerns with all seriousness and with pragmatic approach.
It may be mentioned that the Union Home Minister had stated that the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill would also not be in conflict with existing laws pertaining to safeguarding the identities, culture and customs of the indigenous people of the region. He went on to say that the CAB that the Centre is contemplating will not affect Article 371 or the laws that protect the identities of the people of the north east. He further asserted that the Centre intends to expel all illegal immigrants not just from Assam but the entire country. (Page News Service)