The North East Students Organisation (NESO) on Friday staged a protest across the state capitals of seven Northeast states demanding immediate withdrawal of the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.
“We strongly oppose this draconian bill, and we strongly demand that the government should not go ahead with it, because it seeks to grant citizenship to religious minority communities – Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians – from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan – in India,” NESO chairman Samuel B Jyrwa said.
Addressing a protest rally in Meghalaya’s capital Shillong, Jyrwa said that the indigenous people of the region will no longer tolerate political injustice meted out by the Indian government in the region.
“Post-independence, our people in the Northeast states have been suppressed by draconian laws, be it the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, bombing of Mizoram’s capital Aizawl among others,” the NESO chairman said.
The Conrad Sangma-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government unanimously decided to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.
Though the Assam government has not taken any official stand, the Asom Gana Parishad, an ally of the BJP in the Sarbananda Sonowal-led government, warned that it will pull out of the government if the bill is passed.