Samuel Jyrwa: Centre not interested in welfare of indigenous people of NE

SHILLONG, Jan 30: The Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) on Wednesday organized a protest rally against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 at Motphran parking lot.

Apart from the KSU other groups who were present at the rally were the Garo Students’ Union a constituent of the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) along with the KSU.

The meet also saw the presence of members of the FKJGP, HNYF, RBYF, AJYWO and SSSS. Also members of the Shillong Manipur Students’ Union also took part in the protest rally.

The meeting also saw the presence of Cabinet Minister and former KSU leader, Hamletson Dohling and Lambor Malgniang, Chairman of State Planning Board.

Before the start of the public meeting, the activists of the various groups march from the office of the KSU in Jaiaw to the venue of the public meeting at Motphran.

NESO, chairman, Samuel B Jyrwa while addressing the gathering said that the BJP with its Hindutva ideology is keen to pass the Bill so that it can raze to the ground the beautiful hills of the northeast.

“The centre is not interested in the welfare of the indigenous people of the state but all it wants is the minerals that are found here like uranium. They are only interested in the expensive minerals that are found in our land,” Jyrwa said.

He said that it is due to the opposition of the indigenous people of Meghalaya that the central government till date has not been able to mine Uranium.

According to NESO chairman, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, is an invitation to the millions of Bangladeshi Hindus to come and settle in the northeast.

Jyrwa pointed out that other part of the country is over populated and it is this region where the population is less and this is where the Bill is an invitation for the Bangladeshi Hindus to come and settle here.

He also said that the northeast with its borders with countries like China, Burma, Bangladesh the centre wants to only use the people living in the region as buffers.

Jyrwa also pointed out that as per the 2011 census the population of the state from 2001-2011 grew by 28 percent while the national average was 17 percent.

“This does not mean that the population of the indigenous people went up but it was due to unabated influx who come here to work and stayed put. That too without an Act. If there is an act which facilitates their entry we will not be able to imagine how many more will come,” Jyrwa said.

Meanwhile, Urban Affairs Minister, Hamletson Dohling while speaking at the rally said that if Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 becomes an act the MDA government will come up with alternative legislations to safeguard the interest of the indigenous people of the state.

The Cabinet Minister also said that the Entry-Exit point in Ri-Bhoi district will come up by April this year.

The NESO also slammed the Joint Parliamentary Committee who came to the region to seek the views of the indigenous people of the state but were not incorporated in its report when submitted to the Union Cabinet.

Cabinet Minister, Hamletson Dohling while speaking at the rally assured the gathering that the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government was vehemently against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 even as he pointed out that the MDA Cabinet in May last year passed a resolution to this effect.

Dohling also said that if the Rajya Sabha passes the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the MDA government will come up with alternative legislations to safeguard the interest of the indigenous people of Meghalaya.

The Cabinet Minister also said that the Entry-Exit point in Ri-Bhoi district will come up by April this year.

Business establishments in Khyndailad and Iewduh area of Shillong downed their shutters during the rally period.

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