Aizawl: The North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) along with Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), the largest students’ body of Mizoram, jointly organised a sit-in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), 2016.
Earlier this year, the contentious Bill was strongly protested by NGOs, student bodies and church leaders. However, it lapsed in Rajya Sabha after it was passed by Lok Sabha during the Budget Sesion of Parliament. And now, with plans to reintroduce the Bill during the Winter Session in Parliament, massive protest is being carried out in all the states of Northeast including Mizoram.
All student bodies across the Northeast are submitting a joint memorandum. NESO and MZP, too, submitted a memorandum to the government of Mizoram.
At the sit-in protest organised in Aizawl, Ricky Lalbiakmawia Colney, finance secretary of NESO, said, “After the BJP’s victory in 2014 election, the CAB became a tool to change the demography of the country and make India a Hindu nation by bringing back Hindus from neighbouring countries.”
“The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) was set up to study the impact of CAB in each state. But Mizoram, a state which will receive the most and negative impact of the CAB, was left out by the JPC,” he added.
Colney further stated that the CAB is unconstitutional and is against the spirit of secularism. Tough it aims to give advantages to religious minorities from the neighbouring countries, Christians of Myanmar, who needed this Bill the most are left out.
The finance secretary further added that with plans to reintroduce the Bill during the winter session of Parliament, a fresh and stronger protest must be taken against it. He said, “Though Mizoram has special protection under the Inner Line Permit (ILP), it is not an instrument to protect the state against illegal Chakmas from Bangladesh if CAB is passed.”
B Vanlaltana, president of MZP, in a speech, said, “This Bill is dangerous for Northeast as it is a tool to make India a Hindu nation. Mizoram is the most susceptible state to be affected by it as it shares a 318 km border with Bangladesh.”
“The Indian union must realise that the Mizos are not happy to be part of the Indian Union. We had even fought for cessation from India, but as we were defeated, we are forced to be part of the Union,” the MZP president added.
Vanlaltana further stated that if the Central government continues to turn away from our wishes and favours foreigners over its citizens, the Mizo youths will do what we have to do.