CoHSO forced to curtail hunger strike on Citizenship Amendment Bill

SHILLONG, Jan 24: The East Khasi Hills district administration on Friday did not allow the Confederation of Hynniewtrep Social Organisation (CoHSO) a conglomeration of 13 pressure groups to continue their agitation beyond Friday.

According to chairman of the CoHSO Robertjune Kharjahrin the district administration had reasoned that January 25th being National Voter’s Day and January 26 being Republic Day, holding of hunger strike during these days may lead to security threat.

It may be mentioned that the CoHSO was supposed to organise a three-day hunger strike to protest against the passing of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in the Lok Sabha.

Speaking to media persons at the hunger strike venue at Additional Secretariat Parking Lot, Kharjahrin said that despite the opposition from various groups of the northeast the Joint Parliamentary Committee did not respect the sentiments of the people of the region.

“It shows that the centre does not respect the federal structure of the constitution. Centre wants to forcefully impose the bill on the people of the region despite opposition from several groups in the northeast,” the CoHSO chairman said.

According to him, the is about country unity in diversity but the passing of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in the Lok Sabha shows that the majority wants to assert its supremacy on the miniscule indigenous communities of the region.

He also said that the Bill violates the constitution’s secular concept.

Meanwhile, on the union cabinet approving amendments to Article 280 and Sixth Schedule to the Constitution – Kharjahrin said the citizens of the state welcomes any legislations, bills or schemes that is in favour of the indigenous people but it does not mean that the people of the state remain silent on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

“The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill opposes the spirit of the Sixth Schedule. What if at some stage a Bangladeshi becomes the Chief Executive Member of the territorial council.

Kharjahrin also said that the Sixth Schedule is meant for safeguarding the indigenous people of the state but will be the implications by bringing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

“The centre is giving with one hand but taking it away with another.”

Kharjahrin also cautioned that the amendment to Article 280 and Sixth Schedule to the Constitution is like renovating the territorial councils before bringing it down.

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