SHILLONG: A conglomeration of three pressure groups on Friday staged a black flag demonstration at Police Bazar in opposition against the NDA government in Delhi for passing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in the Lok Sabha.
The three pressure groups comprises of Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP), Hynniewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF) and Ri-Bhoi Youth Federation (RBYF). Members of these three organizations were seen distributing black flags to local taxis at Police Bazar and other locations in the state. The members were also carrying placards and banners opposing the bill. During the demonstration, while the members of the three pressure groups were putting up black flags at the fountain at Police Bazar, there was a heated exchange between them and the police as the police didn’t allow them to hoist the flags.
Later, effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, national BJP president Amit Shah were also burnt by the pressure groups. Addressing the gathering, FKJGP President Wilbert Rani said, “This is just the beginning and later if needed we are ready to intensify our agitation as this Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016 will ultimately turn the indigenous community of the state (Khasi, Jaintia and Garo) into a minority.” He informed that next week the three pressure groups will be holding a meeting with the North East Indigenous Peoples Forum (NEIPF) in which pressure groups from other North Eastern states will also attend the meeting in Guwahati to decide on their next course of action. “The central government is saying that minority religious groups in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan are being ill treated, however till date there has not been any report of such atrocities reported against Hindus, Christians, Buddhist and others in these countries,” he said.
Sadon Blah general secretary of HNYF in his address said, “The central government has lied to the people of North East because before the bill was passed there was discussion held with members of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) and we the NGOs have expressed our strong opposition towards the bill and other from different states in the North East have also expressed the same but still this NDA government has gone ahead in passing the bill bulldozing the views and opinions of the people.”