NESO protests against Citizenship Bill
SHILLONG, May 21: Terming the Union Government’s Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 a sinister attempt to reduce the indigenous people of the Northeast into minorities, chairman of the North East Students’ Organization (NESO) Samuel Jyrwa on Monday said the people of the Northeast would never allow the region to be treated as a dumping ground for refugees.
Jyrwa was speaking during the protest organized by the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) in Shillong on Monday.
Citing the historical developments dating back to the post- colonial era, Jyrwa was categorical in mentioning as to how the Northeastern States were used as dumping ground for the refugees from the erstwhile East Pakistan, currently called Bangladesh.
“The indigenous people of Tripura have now turned into a minority as they comprise only 30 % of the State’s population. Assam is another glaring example as the Bangladeshis have swamped and reduce the original inhabitants into a minority,” the NESO chairman said.
“If the Union Government opts to go with the legislation, it will be tantamount to the continuance of the acts of oppression on the minorities since the British colonial rule,” Jyrwa said while echoing the views of the other students’ organizations of the seven States who are all against the Bill. He further said the 1971 exodus of Bangladeshis into the NE region through various forms of rehabilitations had turned the Northeast region into a dumping ground.
“If the proposed Citizenship Act of granting citizenship to Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and Afghanis of different faiths gets promulgated, the Bangladeshis will enter and settle in any part of India as Indian citizens,” he said.
He added the laid down clause in the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill is unacceptable for the region.
KSU general secretary complimented that Meghalaya will never allow another refugee colony in the State. “We have already taken the burden of the 1971 exodus and will never allow that to happen again.”
Meanwhile, the effigy depicting the proposed Bill of the NDA government was burnt in front of the Kiang Nangbah statue as a move of opposing the proposed Central legislation.