Guwahati: In the time when the entire state of Assam is opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and demanded to scrap the same, the other parts of Northeast also wants the bill to be scrapped. Zoram Nationalist Party leader Lalduhawma who is also the opposition leader in the Mizoram Assembly alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and RSS are trying to rewrite the history on their own and said that the entire northeast is burning because of the said bill.
He further said that if the bill was enacted India will no longer be the place that it used to be and therefore a secular government is needed in the Centre in order to withdraw the bill. “We are looking forward to see a new secular government at the Centre so that people of the northeast be safe and secure,” said Lalduhawma.
The Lok Sabha passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 ON January 8 which proposes that the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, Jains and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who are persecuted on account of their religion will be eligible for citizenship residing in the country for six years instead of 11 years.
The indigenous Assamese opposed the said bill saying the burden of illegal migrants will be passed on to the state alone. The bill also drew flak from opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha for excluding Muslims from the countries such as Nepal and Sri Lanka.
NRC was updated under the Citizenship Act to wean out illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and other countries. The legacy data which is the collective list of the NRC data of 1951 and the electoral rolls till 24 March 1971 is being analysed to update NRC. The amendment paves the way for non-Muslim minorities who came to Assam from Bangladesh between 1 January 1966 and 24 March 1974 to get citizenship. This negates the NRC exercise, say ethnic Assamese groups and regional parties.
It is not just Assam but the entire Northeast is burning against the said bill and protests followed across the region with shutdowns, rallies, bandhs, public meetings to scrap the bill.