Haflong: In protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016 (CAB), post-NRC detention camp in Dima Hasao and Panchayati Raj institutions in Dima Hasao, the Hills Tribe Students’ Association, a conglomeration of student organizations of ethnic tribes living in Dima Hasao, staged mass demonstration in front the office of the Deputy Commissioner on Wednesday.
They demanded scrapping of CAB, which is expected to be tabled in the winter session of the Parliament, and opposed the establishment of detention camps and Panchayati Raj institution in Dima Hasao. Later, they submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi through Dima Hasao Deputy Commissioner Amitabh Rajkhowa and hoped that the Prime Minister would definitely pay heed to their demands positively.
The memorandum stated, “Dima Hasao district is an autonomous district which falls under the Sixth Schedule provision of the Constitution of India. Dima Hasao, as the abode of diverse ethnic people, has preserved its rich cultural identity through the provided constitutional provision of the country. The proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016 (CAB) to be tabled in the Parliament session, if passed, poses imminent threat to the deep-rooted culture and identity of the indigenous tribes of Dima Hasao. The district has witnessed a sharp increase of non-indigenous population during the last decade, creating unrest among the indigenous tribes of the district. The enforcement of the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 (CAB) will pave way for infiltration and have severe impact upon the indigenous tribes of Dima Hasao district.”
It further stated, “Dima Hasao district of Assam under the Sixth Schedule provision of the Constitution of India has been able to safeguard its custom and way of life of the people in the district. So the introduction of the Panchayati Raj system in Dima Hasao district is not applicable from constitution perspective also. The introduction of Panchayati Raj in the hills district of Dima Hasao will be a breach of the constitutional rights and privileges of the people in the district.”
“The district of Dima Hasao has faced numerous issues and challenges. The proposal for detention of undocumented immigrants in the district is a serious concern. It is a sensitive social and political issue in the State of Assam, as well as India today. This sensitivity will create a number of unwanted challenges as this problem is continuing unabated. The installation of detention camps poses a threat to the alteration of the district’s demography, socio-economic environment and economic condition. The provision of the detention camps is not a mechanism for repatriation,” the memorandum stated. Hence, the Hills Tribe Students’ Association sought withdrawal of the proposal of detention camps and introduction of Panchayati Raj system in the district.