Post Mortem

NESO memorandum to PM and HM

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 11/18/2019 10:37:20 AM IST

 (Citizenship (Amendment) Bill - Opposition thereto)

Respected Sir, 

The North East Students’ Organization (NESO), which consist of All Arunachal Pradesh Student’s Union (AAPSU), All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU), Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), Garo Students’ Union (GSU), Mizo Zirlai Paul (MZP), Twipura Students’ Federation (TSF) which represents the students’ community of the entire region belonging to different languages and religions is submitting this memorandum to express our dismay and displeasure that the Government of India has again intended to introduce the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament. 

Sir, as you might recall that there was tension and public agitation in the whole of North East in the month of January and February 2019 when your Government was trying to get the Bill passed in the Rajya Sabha which ultimately was not tabled taking into account the sentiments of the indigenous peoples of the North East. But Sir, the attention of the NESO has again been drawn to various announcements and newspaper reports that your Government is again planning to bring back the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in this coming session of Parliament in which we as indigenous peoples of the North East are vehemently opposed to such a move. 

In this regard, we would like to highlight that the entire North East Region is infested with foreigners from the erstwhile East Pakistan and now, Bangladesh. They have infiltrated into and polluted every aspect of our social life. The politicians have supported them which threaten the identity of the indigenous peoples of the region. All the states of the region have suffered badly due to the illegal flow of the foreigners without any hindrance. 

It may also be reminded that many states of the North East have taken the load of Hindu refugees who have migrated due to the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971 and this Citizen (Amendment) Bill is again an attempt to impose the burden of the post-1971 Hindu Bangladeshis in the entire North East region which is not justified to say the least and North East is not a dumping ground for illegal Bangladeshis and to us ‘a foreigner is a foreigner irrespective of his religion’. It should be a commonsense that the proposed Bill will defeat the very purpose of signing the Assam Accord. The NESO fully supported signing of the Assam Accord by the All Assam Students’ Union setting 25th March 1971 as the cut off year for detection and deportation of the foreigners from Assam. We oppose the objective of the Bill and it should not be adopted by Parliament under any circumstances. Such an undesirable step by Parliament will once again agitate the entire North East region. We all have a responsibility to avoid such a potentiality. 

Sir, we feel that the North East Region remains a distant place for the Union Government. The Union government do not understand our problems and our aspirations. Our social structure, our history and our cultural values are unknown to the rest of the country. The intended Bill is the latest example that the lawmakers of the country have no regard for the future of the indigenous peoples of the North East Region. 

In a straightforward language we totally oppose the intended Bill and we demand that the Bill should not be brought back but instead Inner Line Permit system should be introduced for the entire region, National Register of Citizens (NRC) with a Base Year for each states should be implemented and also Constitutional safeguard should be granted to the people of NE States that must delegate vast federal authority including the rights over land and its natural resources. We request the Honourable Prime Minister to kindly consider our appeal which we make on behalf of the students’ community in particular and the indigenous peoples of the whole North East region in general. 

Samuel B. Jyrwa, chairman 

and Sinam Prakash Sing, 

secretary general, NESO

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