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The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955|EastMojo image
ARUNACHAL PRADESH

CAB: Centre dividing Northeast by offering ‘deals’ to states?

Despite NESO being mother organisation of students from region, why is Union govt inviting groups separately in different timings, questions NESO coordinator Pritam Waii Sonam

Irani Sonowal Lepcha

Irani Sonowal Lepcha

Itanagar: In order to implement Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), 2019 in Northeast India, the Centre is trying to divide the region by offering various "deals", said North East Students Organisation (NESO) coordinator Pritam Waii Sonam.

While speaking with EastMojo, Sonam said that for instance, the Union home ministry gave a "deal" to Mizoram through which the Mizo people will be recruited in two companies, each from BSF and CRPF.

The Union home ministry also assured the leaders from Mizoram that they won’t allow Brus or Chakmas to enter Mizoram and strengthen the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system, he said.

“Despite NESO being the mother organisation of all the students from Northeast India, why is the Centre inviting various groups in different time?” Sonam questioned.

However, the NESO is happy because various organisations from Mizoram are still opposing the CAB, he added.

Likewise, the student leaders who went along with the chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh and other political leaders from the state to meet Union home minister Amit shah opposed CAB, Sonam said.

When EastMojo contacted NESO chairman Samuel Jyrwa, he said that NESO will always be vocal in opposing the contentious legislation.

The "deals" which the home ministry are offering to a few states of Northeast India will not end the disaster, said Jyrwa, adding: "If some states like Assam are affected by the Bill, sooner or later the other states will also be affected."

On Saturday, home minister Shah assured that the entire regime of ILP of Arunachal Pradesh, including applicable provisions of Bengal East Frontier Regulation (BEFR), 1873 and the Chin Hills Regulations (CHR), 1896, will be suitably incorporated in the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

The home minister’s assurance came following a meeting held at the national capital that was convened to discuss the concerns raised by various stakeholders from Arunachal Pradesh on the proposed Bill.

Shah further assured the Arunachal delegation led by chief minister Pema Khandu that the new amendments to the Bill will have zero impact on the frontier state so as to ensure that the interests of the indigenous people are protected.

“The government of India will sincerely consider all the concerns raised by the stakeholders in the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 to protect the interests of all Arunachali people,” Shah said.

Earlier in his address, chief minister Khandu, while highlighting the concerns of the indigenous tribal communities of Arunachal conveyed that the state “unequivocally” opposes CAB, 2016 subsequently marked as Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

The chief minister appealed that special provisions are required to protect the interests of indigenous tribal communities of the state which shall be in accordance with the strong public sentiments.

A consultative committee on CAB constituted by the Arunachal Pradesh government after talking with multiple stakeholders of the state had earlier this month put forward a two-point recommendation to the Centre, saying that there was an “unequivocal” opposition to the Bill.

The first point of the resolution said it “unequivocally” opposes the CAB in its current form, while the second point suggests that provisions of the BEFR, 1973 and that of the Chin Hills Regulations, 1896 should be incorporated into the Bill.

Indian citizens, who are not from Arunachal Pradesh, need to get an ILP to enter the state.

The ILP is based on the BEFR, 1873, and it is a special permit that is required by “outsiders” from other regions of India to enter the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram.

Similarly, the CHR also puts regulations on the presence of “outsiders”.

Among others present in the meeting were Union MoS for sports and youth Affairs Kiren Rijiju, Arunachal East MP Tapir Gao, home minister Bamang Felix, former chief minister and Pradesh Congress Committee president Nabam Tuki, National People’s Party state president Gicho Kabak, All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union president Hawa Bagang, North East Students Organization coordinator Pritam Waii Sonam and Arunachal Indigenous Tribal Forum vice president Tarh Tabin.