IMPHAL/KOHIMA/SHILLONG, Oct 3 - Two days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah�s announcement that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) would be brought in Parliament, protests were held in Manipur, Nagaland and Meghalaya on Thursday against the controversial piece of legislation.
In Imphal valley, members of a large number of civil society bodies and university and college students held protests amid tight police security and no untoward incident was reported from any part of the state.
At Kohima, thousands of people representing various Naga tribes attired in their traditional dresses took out a protest rally under the aegis of Joint Committee on Protection of Indigenous People (JCPI), Nagaland and North East Forum of Indigenous People (NEFIP) and submitted a memorandum to Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.
Organising a rally in Shillong, the NEFIP alleged the CAB seeks to wipe out the indigenous tribes from the region.
The NEFIP claimed that it would seek the United Nations� intervention if the Centre implements the CAB for providing legal citizenship to immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The memorandum submitted to the Nagaland CM stated that the CAB is like a �Damocles� sword hanging over the head of all the indigenous tribes of the northeastern region�.
It urged Rio to take up with the Central leadership to respect the sentiment of the people in the region in general and the state of Nagaland in particular and not to pass the bill in the interest of peace and harmony in the region.
NEFIP vice president Theja Therieh told a gathering that once CAB is passed in Parliament and becomes a law, illegal immigrants will get the full right to settle in Nagaland and will take over the indigenous inhabitants.
�We should speak in one voice and tell the Centre to listen to it,� Therieh said and urged the Centre not to impose the Bill or one language policy in the north east region.
Representatives from various tribes and the Gaon Burah (village headman) Federation also conveyed solidarity to the issue saying that they will fight �tooth and nail till Nagaland is exempted from the purview of CAB�.
In Meghalaya, NEFIP general secretary Robertjune Kharjahrin said, �We have decided to challenge the CAB before the Supreme Court as its implementation will be an act of genocide to wipe out the indigenous tribal population of the region. We will also lodge a complaint to the United Nations.�
He claimed that the CAB violates Article 14 of the Constitution and also seeks to dilute the secular nature of the country.
The Citizenship Bill had been passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8, 2019, but could not be placed in Rajya Sabha.
In Imphal valley the protestors held sit-ins, shouted slogans and formed human chains to register their renewed opposition to the Bill along with Mizoram and Nagaland at the call of Manipur People� Against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. � PTI