DIMAPUR, Jan 22 - Nagaland Gaon Burhas Federation (NGBF) has termed the State Cabinet�s decision to appeal for a review and re-examination of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill as �unfortunate� and said it lacks the will and conviction to save the State from being overrun by illegal immigrants.
The Federation, in a release on Tuesday, queried when other Northeastern States, run by BJP allies, and the BJP are calling for total scrapping of the Bill, what is hindering the Nagaland Government from doing the same.
�This Bill should be opposed tooth and nail so that the coming generations will not curse us for the things we could have done when we had the opportunity,� it stressed.
Saying that the illegal immigrants� issue is of grave concern at present in Nagaland, the GBs opined that the contention of the State Government that �no Act of Parliament shall apply to Nagaland unless the Assembly of Nagaland by a resolution so decides since we have Article 371 (A) to protect us� is a �feeble argument� and �dangerous one�.
�How assuredly can the State Government state that Article 371 (A) will absolutely protect the Nagas in the event of CAB 2016 becoming an Act?� the Federation asked. The Federation also stated that citing the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act 1873 as �one of the pillars to safeguard the Naga citizenship through the exercise of the ILP� is a misrepresentation of the Act. There is no relation between the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 and the Inner Line Permit, it added.
They pointed out that the ILP or the Restricted Area Permit is for temporary movement within the State whereas the CAB will grant citizenship which will have a disastrous implication. �Despite the BEFRA 1873, our State has become a safe haven for illegal immigrants,� it said.
The GBs said, �the wavering stance of the government on CAB is tantamount to being in support of whatever the Centre decides at the expense of the welfare of the Nagas.�
They, however, welcomed the State Cabinet�s decision to call a consultative meet of all sections, including tribals hohos, civil society groups, NGOs, political parties, prominent citizens and all stakeholders, to ascertain their views, opinions and suggestions on the issue.