KOHIMA, July 16 - Leader of Opposition in Nagaland, TR Zeliang today asked Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio to spell out on what grounds the State Cabinet decided not to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016.
The Bill seeks to grant citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who came to India due to alleged religious persecution in those countries.
The June 5 decision of the State Cabinet �possibly reveals the ignorance of the State Cabinet... Or even worse, the decision was taken out of compulsion to gratify the Central Government at the cost of the Naga people,� Zeliang said in a letter to the Chief Minister.
He said the State Cabinet decided that �if the proposed amendment goes against the interest of the Nagas, the Government of Nagaland will oppose such amendments. Otherwise, Government of Nagaland will not interfere in national policies.�
The Cabinet also felt that �Nagaland is protected under Article 371(A) of the Constitution of India and the Inner Line Permit Regulations�, Zeliang wrote to Rio.
However, Zeliang said, Article 371(A) deals with matters such as religious or social practices of the Nagas, their customary law and procedure, and in no way connected to the Citizenship Amendment Bill.
With infiltration of immigrants taking place �unabated�, Article 371(A) of the Constitution is no protection, he said adding that the Cabinet either decided not to oppose the Bill intentionally or without understanding its significance and possible ramifications.
�The Bill is a clear threat on the Nagas and their identity,� the former Chief Minister said. � PTI