KSU, others extend support to NESO protest

Citizenship Bill

SHILLONG: Voices of dissent are getting louder with many local leaders and pressure group members raising concerns over the fate of indigenous groups in the North East.
The Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) has extended its support to the protest called by the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) opposing the Centre’s move to go ahead with the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
In a statement issued here, KSU general secretary Donald Thabah said the union’s central executive council in an emergency meeting on Saturday decided to extend their support to the NESO protest. He reiterated the danger posed by the bill on the minority tribal communities of the North East, especially on the Khasi minority which has a population of only 13 lakh.
“There are over 140 lakh Hindu Bangladeshis, it would be an extreme threat if this bill is passed as it serves as a key to open the gates for Bangladeshis to settle in North East, including the Hynniewtrep land,” he said.
Pointing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement at a rally in Silchar, where he said the bill will be passed, Thabah said the PM is apathetic towards the northeastern minority people.
Working president of UDP Paul Lyngdoh said the bill is unconstitutional and goes against the federal structure of the country as well as both the letter and spirit of the Fifth and Sixth Schedules of the Constitution of India.
The Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) also strongly opposed the move of the NDA government to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, and demanded that it should not be made applicable in the North East.
In a statement issued here, the KHNAM said the passage of the bill will only add fuel to the already raging fire (influx issue) and would legitimise all the illegal migrants who have been staying illegally for many years and will have an adverse impact on the demographic structure of the state. KHNAM too extended support to NESO’s protest on Tuesday and called upon the public and other like-minded parties to fully support the same.
MLA Adelbert Nongrum said the Centre should exempt the region and appealed the public to support the protest by NESO.
Anup Chetia
The chief convener of the North East Indigenous People’s Forum (NEIPF), Anup Chetia, said the NEIPF will take appropriate action and appeal to the indigenous people of the region to “come prepared for the days to come”.

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