Shillong, Feb 5: The North East Indigenous People’s Forum (NEIPF) led by United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa) pro-talk faction’s general secretary Anup Chetia on Tuesday launched its chapter in Meghalaya and resolved to fight against the BJP-led NDA government’s move to finish off the identity and culture of indigenous people in the North East region through the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).
The Federation of Khasi Jaiñtia and Garo People (FKJGP), Hynñiewtrep Youth Front and Ri Bhoi Youth Federation are part of the NEIPF Meghalaya chapter. FKJGP president Wellbirth Rani will lead the NEIPF Meghalaya chapter.
Later, Chetia led a delegation to Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma to thank him for opposing the CAB and for leading a delegation of political parties from the North East to Delhi and opposed the Bill.
“We appreciate him (Conrad) for his bold stand against the CAB although he (his party) is a partner of the BJP. We need leaders like Conrad Sangma not only in Meghalaya but in the whole of NE region,” Chetia told reporters.
He said that the NEIPF along with the people of Assam and the North East region will stand against the CAB which will finish off the identity, culture and demographic structure of the North East region especially states like Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Manipur.
He also denied the forum will turn into a political forum saying, “We are not thinking of forming any political forum, but we are thinking for the people of the North Eastern Region.”
Chetia cited how indigenous people in Tripura lost their identity, culture, political and constitutional rights in their own mother land.
“Simultaneously, the same situation is going to arise in Assam, Meghalaya and all over North East because the indigenous people are going to be minority. Therefore we are united to protect our identity and culture,” Chetia stated.
On the forum’s stand to implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP), Chetia said though they are in favour of ILP but they are yet to discuss the matter because “there is some problem in Assam and implementation of ILP is a big problem. I think in Meghalaya ILP can be implemented.”