The NSEO urged upon the Home Minister not to go ahead with the current amendment of the Citizenship Act

Reiterating its strong opposition to the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) has made four demands before Union Home Minister Amit Shah to protect different indigenous communities across the Northeastern states.

The NSEO urged upon the home minister not to go ahead with the current amendment of the Citizenship Act but to respect the sentiments of the indigenous citizens of the northeastern states.

The demands are the implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP) system across the northeastern states, exempting the northeastern region from purview of the Indo-Nepal Treaty of Friendship, 1950, implementation of National Register of Citizens (NRC) to all the northeastern states with a base year which might differ depending upon the unique history of each state and constitutional safeguards with rights over land and natural resources, among others.

NESO supremo Samuel Jyrwa said the suggestions were aired to Shah during the consultative meeting on Saturday on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which the government is planning to get passed in the ongoing winter session of Parliament.

“We have reiterated our stand against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill on the ground that the Bill is against the interest of the indigenous people of the northeast region. The government should understand that the indigenous people of northeast are a minority in all fronts, ethnically, linguistically and religiously,” he said.

Noting that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will also nullify the Assam Accord of 1985 whereby the cut-off date of 1971 will be quash with the new proviso inserted in the Bill, the NESO chief said: “The bill will only add to the influx problem and ultimately the indigenous populace will become minorities in their own land.”

Moreover, he said the government should take into account the abnormal decadal population growth of 27.8 per cent in Meghalaya according to the 2011 census, which can be attributed to the unabated influx of people from Bangladesh.

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