Meghalaya NGOs oppose Citizenship (Amendment) Bill before JPC

Meghalaya NGOs oppose Citizenship (Amendment) Bill before JPC

Meghalaya NGOs oppose Citizenship (Amendment) Bill before JPC

"We, rather, demand that the government should implement ILP system in all the NE states so that our indigenous people are safeguarded", said NESO chairman Samuel B Jyrwa.

The 16-member joint parliamentary committee headed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parliamentarian Rajendra Agarwal had visited Assam from May 7 to May 9 to take feedback on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which was introduced in Lok Sabha to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955.

"Even without passing of the Bill, illegal Bangladeshi immigrants are crossing over to the region be it Assam, Tripura or any other state", he said while maintaining that the North East region can not take the burden of Bangladeshis anymore since the region took the entire load of Bangladeshis fleeing their country during their liberation war. The minister urged the political parties to not politicize the bill. At a press conference on Saturday, Sonowal said he will step down as Chief Minister if he failed to protect the rights of the citizens of Assam.

"It's enough. We the people of the Northeast have suffered a lot in the hand of the central government".

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A key amendment in the bill proposes citizenship to people without documents from six minority communities - Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians - who come from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The Accord marked the end of anti-foreigner movement - anyone who entered the state after the midnight of March 24, 1971, would be considered an illegal immigrant, irrespective of their faith. A person may become an Indian citizen if they are born in India or have Indian parentage or have resided in the country over a period of time, etc. "It is not double-speak but triple-speak", the Minister said.

Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has broken his silence on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 that has created an uproar in the state over the past one week.

Earlier in the day, the members of the Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People and pro-talks faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA-P) staged a peaceful rally in the city to protest against the proposed Bill. Assam has seen violence in the past over the issue of illegal immigrants.

Following the JPC hearings, protests have been taking place on a daily basis in the Brahmaputra valley against the Bill.

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In the Preamble to the Constitution of India, it is written that India is a secular republic.

A foreigner is always a foreigner be Hindu, Muslim or any religion. "That the state will be flooded with Bangladeshi Hindus is a bloated argument by ethno-centric Assamese groups".

Bhattacharyya also warned the Centre to stay away from doing politics with the interest of the NE people and stop regarding the NE region as a dumping ground.

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