The entire northeastern region is infested with foreigners from erstwhile East Pakistan and now Bangladesh. They have infiltrated into and polluted every aspect of our social life and threatened our identity
— NESO memorandum
Shillong, May 10: The North East Students’ Organization (NESO) on Thursday categorically said it is against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 while branding it a move to perpetuate “political injustice by putting further load of immigrant populace on the northeastern region”.
NESO leaders here on Thursday had a long interaction with the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) members headed by Rajendra Agarwal. They submitted a representation decrying the objectives of the proposed law to accord citizenship to persecuted migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The memorandum, firstly, castigated the Bill as an instance of manifestation of the lawmakers of the country having no regards for the future of the Northeast.
“The entire northeastern region is infested with foreigners from erstwhile East Pakistan and now Bangladesh. They have infiltrated into and polluted every aspect of our social life and threatened our identity,” stated the memorandum.
Secondly, the NESO representation said the proposed law will enable systematic intrusion of Bangladeshis into the region. It cited Assam and Tripura where indigenous people have to face the worst brunt of illegal immigration in terms of polity and economy.
Making it clear that religion is not a criterion to decide any individual’s citizenship, NESO referred to the Assam Accord in which the midnight of March 24, 1971 is accepted as cut-off date for citizenship to migrants from Bangladesh.
“The people of Assam showed a remarkable sense of humanism and accommodation by agreeing to accept the burden of all illegal immigrants from the erstwhile East Pakistan who came before March 25, 1971. The entire Northeast has been accepting migrants,” the NESO representation said, adding, “The proposed Bill is a political conspiracy to impose the burden of the post-1971 war…
It should not be adopted under any circumstances.”
Meanwhile, NESO adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya made it clear that the entire northeastern region would jointly fight the Bill tooth and nail. “Now all of us in the Northeast will jointly fight the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016. The Northeast is not a dumping ground for illegal immigrants. Not a single illegal Bangladeshi will be allowed here to get settled. We urge the Centre to withdraw the Bill immediately,” he said.