Shillong Jan 30: Minister and MLA of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government joined the public rally where thousands of people came out in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), 2016 even as speakers at the rally warned of intensifying a battle in case the Centre passed the Bill in Rajya Sabha.
The protest was organized at Motphran here on Wednesday by the Khasi Students Union (KSU) where Urban Affairs Minister, Hamletson Dohling and State Planning Board Chairman, Lambor Malngiang also took part in the rally titled “People of Meghalaya opposes the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.”
Dohling and Malngiang also addressed the rally.
According to Dohling, the North Eastern states will burn if this Bill becomes a law.
“We will not allow this Bill to become a law,” Dohling said while appealing to Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh not to table the Bill in Rajya Sabha.
The Lok Sabha had already passed the Citizenship Bill aimed at granting citizenship to migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“The Meghalaya government has strongly opposed this Bill and this government (Conrad Sangma-led government) is with the people of the state. If the Center is adamant and goes ahead with the Bill, the state government has prepared laws to protect the minority communities,” the Urban Affairs Minister said.
Dohling also informed that the government has targeted to start the construction of entry-exit points in Ri Bhoi district by April.
Malngiang termed the Bill a vote bank politics of the BJP adding that “the CAB is a taxi that will ferry immigrants from Bangladesh to Meghalaya and the North East region.”
KSU president, Lambokstarwell Marngar and NESO chairman, Samuel B. Jyrwa also warned of a battle if the CAB is passed in Rajya Sabha.
“The Central government cannot used Northeast as buffer zone as we share the border with neighboring countries like China, Myanmar, and Bangladesh. This Bill is an ideology of RSS and BJP. We will see what is going to happen in Rajya Sabha. If it is passed we should be prepared for a battle,” Jyrwa said.
Jyrwa also urged the indigenous people of Meghalaya to stand united against the Bill because this is the Bill that will jeopardize the identity of indigenous people.
Hynñiewtrep National Youth Front leader, Sadon Blah said, “if these countries indulge in religious persecutions, India should approach the United Nations Organization and other countries of the world to declare these countries (Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan) as rogue or terrorist states. Why is the Indian government taking the responsibility of the law and order problem in other countries? In the North Eastern states, when they (central government) cannot solve the law and order problem they brought the Army and imposed draconian laws to suppress the rights of the indigenous people.”