SHILLONG, Nov 18 - The North East Students� Organisation (NESO) held a sit-in protest here on Monday against the Centre�s decision to introduce the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) in the Lok Sabha and demanded its immediate rollback.
Leaders of NESO and other allied organisations raised slogans against the Centre�s decision and also displayed placards near the Additional Secretariat. The CAB has been listed to be introduced in the winter session of Parliament.
�NESO has been against the Bill right from 2016 as the CAB is an anti-indigenous, unconstitutional Bill as it determines citizenship rights based on religion,� said NESO chairman Samuel Jyrwa. He said that if the Bill is passed, Bangladeshis would cross over to India �legally and illegally� and reduce the indigenous population of the region as �minorities in their own land�.
Jyrwa said NESO would keep on pressurising the government to respect the sentiments and work for the interest of the �microscopic indigenous people� of the North East.
Requesting all political parties of the region and also across India to join the fight in opposing the CAB, Jyrwa said NESO has reached out to different political parties to oppose the CAB.
He said the sit-in was the �first phase� of its agitation against the Bill. Asked if NESO would withdraw its protest if the North East is not brought under the purview of the Bill, the NESO chairman said the organisation would decide later accordingly if that happens. �As of now, we are totally against the Bill,� he stated.
NESO is also sending a memorandum to the Prime Minister�s and the Home Minister�s Offices through Governor Tathagata Roy, opposing the CAB. The memorandum demands that instead of the CAB, the Inner Line Permit (ILP) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) should be implemented in all the Northeastern states.
Jyrwa said NESO wants the ILP to be introduced in the remaining four states of the North East. �ILP is applicable in Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh, so in the remaining states, ILP should be introduced. Moreover, the NRC should be conducted in all the states of the region,� he added.
Apart from NESO�s sit-in protest, another organisation, Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organizations (CoMSO) has called a �stay off the road� on Monday and Tuesday from 7 pm to 6 am on both the days in protest against introduction of the Bill in Parliament.