NE students to hold rally in New Delhi

NE students to hold rally in New DelhiGUWAHATI: An umbrella organization of major students unions of the Northeastern states has announced that it would hold a rally in New Delhi to press for its demand for withdrawal of the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.

The rally would be organized in New Delhi at the beginning of the parliament session NESO chairman Samuel Jyrwa said.

The North East Students Organization (NESO) accused the central government of threatening the identity, language and culture of the indigenous people of the NE states through the Bill.

The proposed amendment to the Citizenship Bill, 1955 seeks to grant citizenship to people from minority communities – Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians – from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after six years of residence in India instead of 12 even if they don’t possess any proper document.

A large section of people and organizations in the Northeast have opposed the bill, saying it will nullify the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985, which fixed March 24, 1971 as the cutoff date for deportation of all illegal immigrants irrespective of religion.

“All the states of the North East region have faced the problem of unabated illegal immigration from Bangladesh starting from Independence. The NESO and the people of the Northeast will not accept this Bill,” Jyrwa told reporters.

“Successive union governments have chosen to impose heavy burdens of foreigners on these states. We have noticed disturbing machinations of the union government to encourage further illegal immigration from Bangladesh,” he alleged.

Various measures have been taken protect Hindu Bangladeshis who entered illegally into the North East region along with other parts of the country, Jyrwa claimed.

NESO advisor Dr Samujjal Bhattacharya said, “All the measures are communal in character, and therefore, unconstitutional. Illegal foreigner is a foreigner…whether Hindu or Muslim”.

The measures threaten to nullify the ongoing process of preparing the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam and lead to erode the demand for NRC in each of the seven states of the region, he claimed.

He said NESO leaders had met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and his deputy Kiren Rijiju in Delhi to express opposition to the proposed Bill.

The Centre must realize that all the states of the region united in the fight to protect the identity, language and culture of the indigenous people, the NESO advisor said. PTI

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