NESO, KSU vow to oppose legislation

SHILLONG: The North East Students Organisation (NESO) and the Khasi Students Union (KSU) on Wednesday vowed to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) come what may, hours after the Union cabinet endorsed it.
NESO chairman Samuel Jyrwa said that the organisation is going to oppose the move vehemently.
“This is an act of injustice meted out to the people of the region and the Union government has always had this kind of attitude towards the indigenous people of the North East, right from the time India gained independence”, he said.
Making it clear that NESO will agitate against the bill, he also downplayed the exemption of some Northeastern states and particular areas from its purview.
“We have seen that certain exemptions are there, but as far as Meghalaya is concerned, we are having Sixth Schedule since 1952 but that has not stopped the influx of people into our state”, he said.
Recalling that time and again they had to raise their voice against the unabated influx of people especially from Bangladesh, Jyrwa said, “It clearly shows that only the provisions of the Sixth Schedule will not be able to stop the onslaught, particularly after the CAB is passed.”
He said that if Assam is not exempted from the purview of the CAB it will have a long term negative impact on Meghalaya, citing the long border the two states share.
“If Assam is not exempted, then in the near future we will see a huge migration of people from the state to Meghalaya after they have attained citizenship through this amendment”, he said.
Meanwhile, KSU general secretary Donald Thabah said, “We are disappointed because despite the fact that we met the Union home minister and aired our grievances regarding the ramifications of the bill for the indigenous population of Meghalaya, they decided to go ahead.”
He said that the Centre is not concerned about the plight and aspirations of the people of the North East.
Citing figures, Thabah said that there are around 140 lakh Bangladeshi Hindus whereas Khasis number just 14 lakh.
Informing that for now they will go ahead with street corner meetings on CAB at various places of the state, Thabah said, “We are going to all parts of Shillong and will also cover the rural areas as we want to create awareness and sensitise the people on the dangers of CAB if imposed upon us”.

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