Monday, April 22, 2024
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NEHU witnesses anti-CAA protests

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SHILLONG, March 26: The KSU NEHU unit on Tuesday burnt copies of the Citizenship Amendment Rules, 2024 as a mark of protest against its implementation.
The protest was bolstered by the participation of members of the Achik NEHU Students’ Union, Naga Post Graduate Students’ Coordination Committee, All Mizo Post Graduate Students’ Union, NEHU Manipuri Students’ Union and Arunachal Students’ Association of NEHU.
Speaking during the protest, KSU education secretary Richest Malngiang said they are opposing the implementation of the CAA since the Centre did not take into account the apprehensions and the objections of the indigenous people of the state.
He mentioned that the different students’ bodies under the aegis of North Eastern Students’ Organisation (NESO) have taken the lead to oppose the CAA since the time it was conceptualised.
Malngiang said the protest on Tuesday was meant to send a clear message to the Centre that they are against implementation of the CAA since the Act is not only arbitrary in nature but goes against the fundamental principles of Article 21 of the Constitution.
Echoing similar concern, KSU NEHU president Sandy Sohtun said that the implementation of the CAA is a threat to the microscopic indigenous communities of the state.
Stating that even though the Act will not be applicable in 99.9 per cent of the areas in the state, he said the absence of a strong anti-influx legislation will allow people from outside to use this Act as a tool to enter the state.
“We are aware that there many localities in Shillong with a cosmopolitan population. I am sure that some people will take advantage by residing in these areas before getting permanent citizenship,” Sohtun added.
Meanwhile, the Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) has issued an open letter urging the citizens of Meghalaya to be vigilant about the ramifications of the CAA.
Questioning the effectiveness of the Sixth Schedule in safeguarding tribal areas from the CAA, KHNAM highlighted potential loopholes in the exemption. It raised concerns about the possibility of individuals from specific religious categories, as specified in the CAA, being able to enter Sixth Schedule areas. Additionally, the letter also stated, “Those migrants who have been staying in scheduled areas without proper documents prior to December 31, 2014 will not be given citizenship by naturalisation as given in the Act. However, what if that person leaves the scheduled areas and obtains his citizenship by naturalisation from non-scheduled areas and returns back as Indian citizen? Therefore, exempting Sixth Scheduled areas from the ambit of the CAA is just a lip service to fool the people.”

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