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Protestors opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Aizawl, Mizoram
Protestors opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Aizawl, Mizoram|EastMojo image
NEWS

Mizoram: PRISM writes to UN over Citizenship Bill

People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram, a corruption watchdog turned political party, seeks protection of the indigenous people of the state

Henry L Khojol

Aizawl: People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM), a corruption watchdog turned political party, on Thursday wrote to the United Nations (UN) seeking protection for the rights of the indigenous people of Mizoram.

In a letter addressed to UN special rapporteur cum chairman of working group on the Rights of Indigenous People Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, PRISM alleged that the Centre is trying to enact Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 to grant citizenship to illegal migrants of non-Muslim minorities like Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christian from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, who fled religious persecution in these countries, by amending the Citizenship Act, 1955.

The citizenship bill was passed by the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Indian parliament, on January 8 and is pending in Rajya Sabha, upper house of the parliament, the letter said.

The party said that the citizenship bill, if enacted, is harmful for the indigenous Mizos as they will be in danger of assimilation. It said that Mizoram, which shares international boundary with Bangladesh has been facing illegal influx problem from that country over decades.

“Improper population growth occurs in the western part of Mizoram bordering Bangladesh since decades ago which threaten the existence of the indigenous people,” the letter also said.

Though the border was guarded by Border Security Forces (BSF), illegal immigration has been reported nil till date, it alleged.

PRISM also said that the population explosion in Bangladesh happened decades ago has resulted in illegal influx to neighbouring Tripura, where the native people have been completely assimilated by illegal immigrants.

It expressed apprehension that Mizoram may face Tripura like situation due to rapid increase of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

The party has appealed to UN to look into the matter and take necessary action to safeguard the rights of indigenous people of Mizoram.