Demanding immediate scrapping of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, school students in large numbers took out protest rallies in different parts of the state on Wednesday Credit: EastMojo image

Aizawl: Mizoram NGO Coordination Committee, a conglomerate of major civil societies and student bodies in the state, has decided to stage protest against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill on Tuesday.

The protest rally will be staged near Vanapa Hall in Aizawl and in seven other district headquarters at 1 pm, a statement issued by the committee said on Monday.

The committee chairman Vanlalruata said a joint meeting of major civil societies and student bodies comprising of Central Young Mizo Association (CYMA), Mizoram Upa Pawl (MUP) or Mizoram Elders’ Association, Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl (MHIP) or Mizo Women’s Association, Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) or Mizo Students’ Federation and Mizo Students’ Union (MSU) on Monday strongly slammed the Centre for passing the Citizenship Bill in Lok Sabha on January 8.

The committee took strong exception to the Centre’s bid to pass the bill in Rajya Sabha and decided to stage protest day across the state in order to defeat the bill in the upper house, he said.

The committee has also urged the people to come forward in the protest rally to show solidarity against the proposed legislation.

The NGO Coordination Committee is the most influential civil body in the state, which has more than 4 lakh members across the state.

Before the state assembly in November last year, the committee launched massive protest across the state, which forced the Election Commission to remove the then state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) SB Shashank for his alleged “Pro Bru” stance.

The committee had also boycotted Republic Day celebrations across the state on January 16 to oppose the citizenship bill.

Meanwhile, special mass prayers were held in churches across Mizoram for the defeat of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha following a call given by Mizoram Kohhran Hruaitute Committee (MKHC), a conglomeration of 16 major churches in the state.

Sixteen constituent members of the committee belonging to different denominations in the state held mass prayers on Saturday night and Sunday night, an MKHC leader told EastMojo.

He said that the appeal was made to the constituent members to conduct mass prayers in their respective churches so that the citizenship bill is stalled in Rajya Sabha.

A press statement issued by the committee said that the Bill, if enacted, is harmful for Mizoram and can result in suppression of freedom of religion.

Stating that the Citizenship Bill is against the spirit of secularism, the church committee also asked the Centre to revoke the bill.

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