North East Dialogue Forum urges PM Modi to drop Citizenship Amendment Bill

Shillong, Feb 12: The North East Dialogue Forum (NEDF) has urged the BJP-led NDA government to consider dropping the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

In a memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, NEDF consultant (Hony.) PBM Basaiawmoit fervently urged Modi and his NDA government to drop the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016 due to many reasons.

Basaiawmoit said even though the Lok Sabha has passed the Bill on January 8, the NEDF would appreciate very much for it not to be placed in the Rajya Sabha for concurrence and neither should an ordinance be promulgated to implement its provisions.

He said influx into the North East, particularly in Assam, was felt since 1931 but the brunt of partition in 1947 and creation of Bangladesh in 1971 further made the issue of demographic imbalance and loss f land and livelihood become more acute.

Stating this has led to sprearheading a movement against illegal influx in 1979 until the signing of the Assam Accord in 1985, Basaiawmoit however alleged that the Centre has undermine the Accord by attempting to legalise illegal influx.

“Now through CAB, the Centre seeks to undermine provisions of the Assam Accord and legalise illegal influx but only of Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Pakistan and Afghanistan, perhaps with the intent to draw support to the CAB from followers of the mentioned religions,” he said.

The NEDF consultant further pointed out that there are already provisions in Articles 5 to 11 (part II) of the Constitution of India for conferment of a person to be a citizen of India and also clearly spell out in the Citizenship Act of 1955 with subsequent amendments made to the principal Act.

He however said despite so many amendments made, did not attempt to convert secular and pluralistic India into a theocratic state or to marginalise and discriminate against followers of a particular faith or religion while “CAB, 2016 seeks to do just that”.

He also added that the intent of the provisions of the Bill also violates provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination as well, very much goes against Articles 14 and 21 of Indian Constitution.

Meanwhile, the NEDF expressed hope that the government would not pay back those who oppose the CAB by invoking and entrenching the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958, National Security Act, Sedition law and any other draconian and anti-people law so as to enforce implementation of CAB provisions with an iron hand.

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