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AMSU cautions on Citizenship Bill, 2016
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, May 11 2018: While expressing strong objection against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 and the Government of India's attempt to grant citizenship to illegal immigrants in Assam, AMSU has asked New Delhi to stop all attempts to convert the North East region including Manipur as a dumping site for non-local people.

Speaking to media persons at their DM College campus office this afternoon, AMSU president Manjit Sarangthem said that the Government of India's attempt to transform the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 into an Act and introduce the same Act in Assam is highly objectionable.

In case the Bill is converted into an Act, illegal immigrants from different countries would be granted Indian citizenship and the immigrant population would pose a serious challenge to the demography of the North East region.

It is a matter of serious concern that the Government of India has been working to grant citizenship to illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal after recognising them as Hindus, Manjit said.

The Government of Meghalaya has already expressed strong objection against the Bill and protest demonstrations have been scheduled across the whole North East region on May 21.Meanwhile, a meeting of the joint parliamentary committee was held at Shillong and Guwahati on May 10 and 11 and the meeting was participated by AMSU advisor and North East Students' Organisation (NESO) general secretary Sinam Prakash.

Moreover, a 30-member delegation of AMSU led by vice-president Peter Laishram and general secretary Soibam Anil left for Guwahati to take part in a protest demonstration scheduled tomorrow against the same Bill, Manjit said.

Incessant influx of migrants has been posing serious threats to the indigenous people politically, socially and economically.

As such, the people of Manipur would never accept the Bill which tends to recognise illegal immigrants as Indian citizens.

Once the Bill is converted into Act and introduced in Assam, it would not be long before the same Act is introduced in all other North Eastern States and it may pave the way for converting the whole North East region as a dumping site for illegal immigrants.

The Government of India should stop all attempts to dilute and obliterate the identity and culture of the North East people, he said.

As done by the Meghalaya Government, the Government of Manipur should convey its concrete position with respect to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, he demanded.

Notably, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 was tabled in the Lok Sabha in 2016 with a view to replace the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who come from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

A team of newspaper Editors based in Assam has already written to the BJP-led Central Government to keep the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 in abeyance.

Incidentally, the Assam Accord adopted March 25, 1971 as ' the base year for identification of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

However, if the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 becomes an Act, the Assam Accord as well as the National Register of Citizens would be rendered toothless, sources said.


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