Citizenship Amendment Bill: Anti-CAB protests in NE states from Oct. 3

Anti-CAB protests in NE states from Oct. 3, NEFIP has demanded immediate withdrawal of Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) 2016


Guwahati / Kohima

To protest the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) 2016, the North East Forum for Indigenous People (NEFIP) has resolved to launch a campaign across the Northeast region—starting with a public protest on October 3. This was announced at a press conference called by the Central Executive Council (CEC) president of NEFIP Mr Ningthouja Lancha on Thursday in Kohima.

 According to the president of NEFIP Mr Ningthouja Lancha, the protest will be ‘democratic’ and daily agitation will be organised in the NE states.

 “We will give out a white-paper on CAB to NE people explaining how it is a threat and how it will affect the people. We will try to translate the white paper into different languages so that it will reach the different parts of NE region,”  Lancha added.

The members maintained that the intention of the government of India was to ‘transfer a huge population who does not have any socio-economic and cultural affinities with the indigenous people of the region.’ This, they stated, ‘will affect our way of life in every aspect and it is more like they are invading us without bloodshed.’

 

An interim NEFIP body was formed on April 3 at Imphal in Manipur to oppose the CAB. Following a series of interactions and meetings at Guwahati, Shillong and Aizawl, and permanent body was constituted; the first CEC meeting was held in Kohima on September 25.

The NEFIP consists of Assam’s League of Aborigines Rights Movement (Alarm), All Indian Tribal Students’ Association Assam (AITSAA), United Arunachal Indigenous People’s Forum (UAIPF), Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organisations (Comso), Manipur People against Citizenship Amendment Bill-2016 (Manpac), Mizo Students’ Union (MSU), Joint Committee for Prevention of Illegal Immigrants (JCPI) in Nagaland and Twipra Social Organisations’ Immigrants (Twipra-SOS) informed by NEFIP Secretary General Robert June Kharjarin.

If the Centre fails to scrap the Bill,  people of the NE states, spearheaded by the respective apex body, will “decide our own future.” It will turn into a ‘serious issue and we will not stop at a mere protest,’ they maintained. “We want to send a clear message that if the government of India will forcibly implement CAB, that would be the biggest mistake made by government in the history of India,”  Said by Rauta Fanai Speaker of the NEFIP.

The North East Forum for Indigenous People (NEFIP) has demanded immediate withdrawal of the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) 2016 and at the same time condemned the statement made by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Himanta Biswa Sarma, Finance Minister of Assam and Convenor of NEDA claiming “that the Union Government will reintroduce the very contentious Bill on November/upcoming parliamentary session.”

Addressing a press conference here today in Kohima, NEFIP president Ningthouja Lancha said that after threadbare discussion on CAB and on the imposition of Hindi in the entire country during its 1st meeting of Central Executive Council, NEFIP has unanimously resolved to launch movement against CAB in the entire North East Region with a ‘Public Protest’ on October 3, 2019 to mark the beginning of the campaign against CAB.

 “NEFIP shall not accept any attempt made by the Union or State Government to impose any language to the indigenous people and oppose the recent appeal made by the Home Minister for using Hindi as a National language for the entire country,” another resolution stated.

NEFIP has also demanded to all the State Legislative Assemblies of NE states to adopt a resolution in their respective houses urging the Union Government to take necessary steps to implement United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in letter and spirit in NE Region.

Further, NEFIP resolved to seek the intervention of the United Nations to stop continuous acts and practices that will be genocidal for the indigenous peoples of the region.

The phase wise protest to be held in the entire north eastern states from October 3, will be democratic and peaceful, said NEFIP president Ningthouja Lancha.  He said that NEFIP will submit memorandum and would also discuss with chief ministers or governors of the respective north eastern states.

“We will also try to meet Prime Minister,” he said.

On being asked what step will be taken if Government of India go ahead with CAB, he responded that if there is no alternative, “we have to decide our future in our own way.”

He added that NEFIP will keep on fighting against CAB forever till it is scrapped for all time.

Another member of NIFIP said “If the GoI will forcefully implement CAB, that will be the biggest mistake in the context of North East in the 70 years journey of India together as Independent nation.”

NEFIP secretary general Robertjune Kharjahrin said NEFIP will bring out a white paper on CAB for the North East region, explaining how it will affect and pose a threat to own survival.

Maintaining that most people don’t know what is CAB, he said “There has been counter reaction which creates confusion to the people.” Through the white paper, NEFIP will attempt to sensitize the public on how CAB may destroy the very unique identity of the people of the region as a whole.

NEFIP will also try to reach out the youth in the colleges and universities, he said.

NEFIP deputy speaker, Jones Ingti Kathar said, “There may be some, who will try to confuse us that certain modification and amendment in the law will be made for the North East. But the point is that the whole Act is aimed at North East only. So the question of amending doesn’t not arise actually.”

NEFIP Media member cum spokesperson Arindom Prince Panging also slammed the centre’s idea to push for the invalid CAB bill 2016. Arindom Prince Panging express that, introduction of the revised version of the bill will only escalate the woes for the region which is already plagued by the menace of illegal migrants. We Vehemently oppose the unconstitutional excuse of govt of India, this bill violate the Indian constitutions preamble and its democratic republic character ever Arindom Prince Panging added.

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