Shillong: the NEFIP which is an umbrella body of indigenous people’s organisations in North East India today gave a press release over the impending situation looming large surrounding the issue of giving citizenship rights to illegal immigrants of selected communities.
NEFIP is skeptical over the assurance given by the Honorable Home Minister of India Shri Amit Shah in the recent fourth conclave of Chief Ministers of eight North Eastern States where he assured that the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill will not impinge on existing laws protecting indigenous peoples in the region such as Article 371, Sixth Schedule and ILP.The ‘assurance’ they alleged is a face saver, double standard and misleading statements of the Centre which also underestimate the indigenous people’s ability to articulate for themselves. The NEFIP vowed that people of the region will never buy such rhetoric. The press release signed by Khuraijam Athouba reads that NEFIP,
strongly opposed to the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, in its present form which inter alia seeks to provide that Persons belonging to minority communities, that is, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan shall not be treated as illegal immigrants and that the Third Schedule of the 1955 Act is proposed to be amended to decrease the residency requirement from 11 years to six years. ‘they also feel that this goes against Article 14 (Right to Equality) of the Constitution and corrupting the basic concept of Secularism as per the Doctrine of Basic structures of the Constitution of India.
Therefore, NEFIP appeals to the leadership at the centre not to take the North East Indigenous people for a ride with rhetoric assurances but to address our concerns with all seriousness and with pragmatic Action.