Kohima, Sep. 26 (EMN): To protest the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), the North East Forum for Indigenous People (NEFIP) has resolved to launch a campaign across the Northeast region—starting with a public protest on October 3.
This was announced at a press conference called by the Central Executive Council (CEC) members of NEFIP on Thursday in Kohima.
According to the CEC members, the protest will be ‘democratic’ and daily agitation will be organised in the NE states.
“We will give out a white-paper on CAB to NE people explaining how it is a threat and how it will affect the people. We will try to translate the white paper into different languages so that it will reach the different parts of NE region,” they added.
The members maintained that the intention of the government of India was to ‘transfer a huge population who does not have any socio-economic and cultural affinities with the indigenous people of the region.’
This, they stated, ‘will affect our way of life in every aspect and it is more like they are invading us without bloodshed.’
An interim NEFIP body was formed on April 3 at Imphal in Manipur to oppose the CAB. Following a series of interactions and meetings at Guwahati, Shillong and Aizawl, and permanent body was constituted; the first CEC meeting was held in Kohima on September 25.
The NEFIP consists of Assam’s League of Aborigines Rights Movement (Alarm), United Arunachal Indigenous People’s Forum (UAIPF), Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organisations (Comso), Manipur People against Citizenship Amendment Bill-2016 (Manpac), Mizo Students’ Union (MSU), Joint Committee for Prevention of Illegal Immigrants (JCPI) in Nagaland and Twipra Social Organisations’ Immigrants (Twipra-SOS).
Some of the CEC resolutions adopted on Wednesday include:
- The NEFIP CEC unanimously resolved to reiterate the resolution passed earlier against the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 which was submitted to the prime minister of India on August 9, 2019.
- The NEFIP demands immediate withdrawal of CAB 2016 and condemn the statement given by Amit Shah, Union Home Minister, and Himant Biswa Sarma, Finance minister of Assam and Convenor of NEDA, claiming that the union government will reintroduce the very contentious Bill in November/upcoming parliamentary session.
- NEFIP also anticipates (sic) sensitising the indigenous people of Northeast region on the ill effects of CAB, especially in the context of the region.
- NEFIP shall not accept any attempt made by the union or state governments to impose any language to the indigenous people and oppose the recent appeal made by the union home minister for using Hindi as a national language for the entire country.
- NEFIP demands to all the State Legislative Assembly of NE states to adopt a resolution in the house urging the union government to take necessary steps to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Undrip) in letter and spirit in NE region.
- NEFIP resolved to request the United Nations Organisations-UN Intervention to stop continuous acts and practice that will be genocidal for the indigenous peoples of the region.
If the Centre fails to scrap the Bill, they said, people of the NE states, spearheaded by the respective apex body, will “decide our own future.” It will turn into a ‘serious issue and we will not stop at a mere protest,’ they maintained.
“We want to send a clear message that if the government of India will forcibly implement CAB, that would be the biggest mistake made by government in the history of India,” one of the members asserted.
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