SHILLONG, Nov 30: The North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) a conglomerate of student unions of the seven northeast states of the region on Friday held a protest demonstration in Shillong against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.
Representatives of the student bodies of the seven northeastern states pointed out that if the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 is passed the indigenous communities of the region will turn into minorities.
Vowing to fight tooth and nail against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 the NESO also said that the region is not a dumping ground of illegal immigrants.
Addressing the protest demonstration held at the Additional Secretariat Parking Lot, NESO chairman Samuel B Jyrwa said, “If the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is passed the miniscule indigenous communities of the region will be under threat.”
He pointed out that Tripura has taken the burden of the influx of illegal Bangladeshis and presently the indigenous people of the state are a minority in their own homeland.
The NESO chairman pointed out that people of the northeast are facing “political injustice”.
Jyrwa pointed out that since, 1971 Bangladeshis have been brought into the region and settled in various parts of the northeast.
“But instead of protecting the indigenous communities of the region, the central government imposes draconian laws like the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA),” the NESO chairman said.
Reiterating that the central government has been treating people’s movement in the region with an iron hand he pointed out that the Indian Air Force was used in Mizoram to resist dissent.
In 1966, the Indian Air Force carried out airstrikes in Aizawl and this remains the only instance of India carrying out an airstrike in its own civilian territory.
Jyrwa also said that even now, the government of India was not for protection of the indigenous people of the state.
“The centre is bringing the Bill with an intention to wipe out the indigenous communities,” he said.
Jyrwa also said that like the past generations which have fought for the present, the current generation will also fight for the future of the indigenous people of the region.
The NESO chairman also pointed out that mass protest like these all over the region should show New Delhi that the indigenous communities of northeast are one.
“Delhi should not decide our future. We will decide our own destiny,” Jyrwa added.
It may be mentioned that various students bodies from all over the region like the Shillong Soci-Cultural Assamese Students’ Association, Naga Students’ Union Shillong, Mizo Zirlai Pawl Shillong, Twipra Students’ Federation Shillong, Arunachal Students’ Union Shillong, Garo Students’ Union and Shillong Manipuri Students’ Union took part in the protest demonstration.