Former Arunachal Pradesh CM Nabam Tuki
Former Arunachal Pradesh CM Nabam Tuki|EastMojo image

Former Arunachal CM appeals PM to reconsider Citizenship Bill

Developments taking place in Northeast after the Bill was passed in Lok Sabha on January 8 is a matter of serious concern, writes Nabam Tuki in a letter addressed to Narendra Modi

Damien Lepcha

Itanagar: Former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister and Congress legislator Nabam Tuki has appealed Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider the decision taken by his government in regards to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, taking into account the greater interest of the indigenous citizens of the country, particularly those of Northeastern states.

Expressing his strong opposition to the Bill, Tuki in a letter addressed to PM Modi said that the developments taking place in the Northeastern states after the Bill was passed in Lok Sabha on January 8 is a matter of serious concern.

“The hurry in which the Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in the wake of the ensuing elections and neglecting the rights, privileges and sentiments of the indigenous people of Northeast is something which was avoidable at this time. The Union government should have been more sensitive to the people of Northeastern states due to their separate origin, identity, nature, culture and demography,” Tuki said in his letter.

The former CM further said that the protected tribes of Arunachal Pradesh and other north east states cannot be subject to "unrest and intimidation due to the largesses' of the government" without understanding the consequences and social, cultural and demographic imbalances, which would be detrimental to the existence of the region.

“Arunachal Pradesh has already faced the unfortunate issue of settlement of Chakma-Hajong refugees which has created large-scale dissatisfaction and cultural problems in the state. Therefore, I earnestly urge you (Modi) reconsider the decision taken by your government,” Tuki said.

Meanwhile, Tuki has also called upon chief minister Pema Khandu to take a strong decision against the Citizenship Bill and register his protest before the Centre for its immediate withdrawal.

The Bill, which intends to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 and provide citizenship to those illegal migrants — mainly Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jain, Parsi or Christians — who have faced religious persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, is yet to get a Rajya Sabha.