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North East Forum for Indigenous People (NEFIP) Opposes CAB Tooth And Nail

North East Forum for Indigenous People (NEFIP) Opposes CAB Tooth And Nail

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  13 Sep 2019 11:50 AM GMT

A Reporter

SHILLONG: Reiterating their stern Opposition to the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, in its present form, the North East Forum for Indigenous People (NEFIP) has urged “the Centre not to take the people of Northeast for a ride with rhetoric assurances but to address our concerns with all seriousness and with pragmatic approach.”

In a press communique signed by NEFIP Media secretary Khuraijam, the NEFIP reacted to the recent statement made by the Home Minister at the fourth conclave of the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) attended by the Chief Ministers of eight northeastern States, including Sikkim, that the proposed CAB will not be in conflict with the Inner Line Permit (ILP) legislation in force in some States in the region.

Khuraijam said that the Home Minister also stated that the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill would also not be in conflict with existing laws pertaining to safeguarding the identities, culture and customs of the indigenous people of the region. The minister goes on to say that the CAB that the Centre is contemplating will not affect Article 371 or the laws that protect the identities of the people of the North-east. The minister further asserted that the Centre intends to expel all illegal immigrants not just from Assam but the entire country.

According to the communique, the NEFIP opposed the CAB which inter alia seeks to provide that persons belonging to minority communities, that is, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan shall not be treated as illegal immigrants and that the Third Schedule of the 1955 Act is proposed to be amended to decrease the residency requirement from 11 years to six years.

Khuraijam informed that the NEFIP representing the indigenous population of the North Eastern Region of India while welcoming the assurance made by the Home Minister to protect and safeguard the identities, culture and customs of the indigenous people of the region and to remove all illegal migrants from the entire region finds the exertions empty, misleading and double standard since the very concept of CAB is an attempt to naturalise citizenship of illegal immigrants in the region.

The NEFIP strongly opposed to the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, in its present form which inter alia seeks to provide that Persons belonging to minority communities, that is, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan shall not be treated as illegal immigrants and that the Third Schedule of the 1955 Act is proposed to be amended to decrease the residency requirement from 11 years to six years. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 seeks to make drastic changes in the citizenship and immigration norms of the country by relaxing the criteria to become an Indian citizen, the NEFIP media secretary said.

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