Protesting against the highly-debated Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, various students’ organizations came out on the streets in the northeastern States on Monday. The Bill is to be taken up in the recently started Winter session of the parliament.
Citizenship Amendment Bill–
The above-mentioned bill seeks to declare Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan eligible for citizenship who came to India before December 31, 2014. The Bill only carries the provision of citizenship for the non-muslim population that arrived from the neighboring nations. The fear over the bill has increased since the Home Minister Amit Shah in North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) meeting said that that the Bill would be passed in the upcoming winter session of the Parliament.
In the reported agitation in Guwahati, All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) members marched up till the Raj Bhavan. Here, a small group of members submitted a memorandum to Governor Jagdish Mukhi seeking withdrawal of the proposed bill. The memorandum was addressed to both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Speaking to the media, Samujjal Bhattacharyya (AASU advisor) said that the proposed Bill is a communal bill and it is a threat to the indigenous people of Assam and northeast. President of People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram, Vanlalruata told that the Citizenship Bill is harmful to the whole of North-east. He also slammed the ruling BJJP government for serving the interest of illegal migrants than that of the indigenous people.
FIghting for the battle of people’s rights, AASU has been also joined by many organisations like the Tripura Students’ Federation (in Tripura), the Khasi Students’ Union (in Meghalaya), the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union, the Naga Students’ Federation (in Nagaland) and the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (in Mizoram).
Picking up the cause at the local level, many NGOs in Meghalaya have vowed not to back down until the bill is withdrawn. Therefore, the Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organisations has called for a night road blockade across the State on November 18 and 19 which will be effective from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Previously also, Manipur saw a state-wide protest on the same issue in October. During this campaign, Dilipkumar Yamancha, the convenor of the MANPAC, said that if needed they will seek the intervention of the United Nations in the matter.