Mizoram protest against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016

Aizawl: Mizoram’s apex student body the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) has strongly slammed the state government over the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill accusing it of not taking massive effort to oppose the bill.

MZP president L Ramdinliana on Sunday said that the state government is not giving utmost concern to the bill at a time civil society organisations in the state are raising strong voices against the proposed legislation.

He expressed disappointment over the government laxity to call a meeting involving all political parties and stakeholders over the citizenship bill. “The government is not giving sincere concern about the Citizenship Bill. It is to our surprise that the state government has not called a meeting over the Bill till today despite massive protest from student bodies and other civil society groups in Mizoram and Northeast region,” Renthlei said.

Renthlei claimed that chief minister Zoramthanga had promised them to take united stand against the proposed legislation when they met him before the Republic Day.

“While the citizenship is about to be tabled in Rajya Sabha this week, we are very disappointed because the state government not only failed to convene a meeting but take massive effort to oppose the Bill,” he said.

Renthlei reiterated that the Citizenship Bill, if enacted, would be harmful for a small state like Mizoram, where there are large numbers of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

He said that the MZP under the initiative of North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) had staged massive protest against the Bill to ensure that it is revoked.

The MZP president also said that the students’ body will continue to oppose the Bill to ensure that it is defeated in the Rajya Sabha and asked the people of the state to extend support to the student body.

NESO finance secretary Ricky Lalbiakmawia also said that a team of student leaders under the aegis of NESO have recently met leaders of Congress and other non-BJP parties in New Delhi to get their support against the bill.

He said that the BJP-led NDA government is firm on introducing the Citizenship Bill in Rajya Sabha on February 12 or 13.

Lalbiakmawia also alleged that the BJP is trying to buy some MPs to get their support for the passage of the bill.

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