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Tue, 15 Oct 2019

Northeast Today

Renewed protests against CAB launched in Manipur, Nagaland

Renewed protests against CAB launched in Manipur, Nagaland
October 03
23:01 2019

NET Bureau

Two days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s announcement that the Citizenship Amendment Bill would be brought in Parliament, protests were held in Manipur’s Imphal Valley and in neighbouring Nagaland against the controversial piece of legislation.

In Imphal Valley members of a large number of civil society bodies and university and college students held protests amid tight police security and no untoward incident was reported from any part of the state.

At Kohima, thousands of people representing different Naga tribes attired in their traditional attires took out a protest rally under the aegis of Joint Committee on Protection of Indigenous People (JCPI), Nagaland and North East Forum of Indigenous People (NEFIP) and submitted a memorandum to Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.

The memorandum stated that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) is like a “Damocles sword hanging over the head of all the indigenous tribes of the northeast region”.

They urged Rio and the state government to take up with the central leadership to respect the sentiment of the people in the region in general and the state of Nagaland in particular and not to pass the bill in the interest of peace and harmony in the region.

NEFIP vice-president Theja Therieh told a gathering that once CAB is passed in Parliament and becomes a law illegal immigrants will get the full right to settle in Nagaland and will take over the indigenous inhabitants.

He said the Naga people want the state government and the MLAs and MPs from the state to join hands in protecting the indigenous people.

“We should speak in one voice and tell the Centre to listen to it,” Therieh said and urged the Centre not to impose the Bill or one language policy in the north east region.

Representative from various tribes and the Gaon Burah (village headman) Federation also conveyed solidarity to the issue saying that they will fight “tooth and nail till Nagaland is exempted from the purview of CAB”.

The Citizenship Bill had been passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8, 2019, but could not be placed in Rajya Sabha.

The legislation seeks to facilitate the granting of citizenship to identified minorities – namely Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Christians, and Parsis, escaping religion- based persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh and entering India before December 31, 2014.

In Imphal Valley the protestors held sit-ins, shouted slogans and formed human chains to register their renewed opposition to the Bill along with Mizoram and Nagaland at the call of Manipur People’ Against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

NEFIP president Ningthouja Lancha said that widescale protests will be held by the people against the legislation as they are quite apprehensive of the Bill and people’s stand on it must be communciated to the central leaders.

Chief Minister N Biren Singh had said February that the government’s stand on the Bill 2016 is not different from that of the people and that despite helming a BJP-led government he has openly made clear his stand that he is against it.

Source: Bussiness Standard

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