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ZNP chief calls for concerted effort against Citizenship bill

Mizoram

ZNP chief calls for concerted effort against Citizenship bill

Aizawl (zoramobserver.com): With the apprehension of demographic crisis hovering around the Mizo people due to Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Zoram Nationalist Party (ZNP) chief Lalduhoma has called for concerted effort from all NGOs and political parties including the ruling Congress to oppose the proposed legislation.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference here, Lalduhoma said the bill, if passed, would enable illegal Chakma migrants from Bangladesh in western part of Mizoram to become citizen of India.

ZNP president Lalduhoma addressing a press conference in Aizawl on Tuesday (1 August, 2017)

He pointed out that ‘The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016′ was introduced by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the Lok Sabha on 19 July, 2016 and is now in the hand of Joint Parliamentary Committee. The Bill seeks to grant citizenship to illegal migrants of certain minority communities such as Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who entered India and stayed in the country for six years.

He alleged that the proposed legislation is an attempt to transformed India into a ‘Hindustan’ or land of Hindu as it did not cover the Muslim minority and it is meaningless for the Mizo Christians as the proposed bill did not include Myanmar, a country where a large number of Zo ethnic Christians are living.

He said that the bill, if passed, would enable illegal Chakma migrants from Bangladesh to become citizen of India as they are Buddhist and it would become illegal for Mizoram to push back all the illegal Chakma migrants from the state.

“The Bill, if passed, would cause serious demographic crisis in India and it will have adverse affect on Mizoram,  its people and their faith,” he said.

Lalduhoma also said that a consensus opinion should be taken and hence Joint Parliamentary Committee should be immediately approached  against the proposed legislation.

Earlier in May this year, the Aizawl-based anti-corruption watchdog, People’s Right to Information and Development Society of Mizoram (PRISM) had urged the Mizoram government and the opposition parties including BJP in the state to strongly oppose the proposed amendment bill.

In a press statement, the PRISM said the executive committee meeting of the body decided to involve all political parties and NGOs of the state in protesting against the proposed legislation.

PRISM also said that the Bill, if passed, would cause serious demographic crisis in India. It will affect those regions in the northeast which share international border with Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar.

It further observed that the bill, if passed, would have adverse effect on the Mizos as it will encourage influx of Chakma migrants from neighbuoring Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, Lalduhoma also appealed concerted effort to solve the Chakma and Bru issues.

He said that Chakma and Bru issue should be taken as national issue and all political parties and NGOs should work together transparently to tackle the issue.

On EVM issue, Lalduhoma said the ECI should stop using it as there was frequent report of rigging.

“We appealed the ECI to stop using EVM and hence introduce ballot paper in its place,” he said.

On issue pertaining to opening wine shop, Lalduhoma said that the ruling government should not alone take decision on liquor, but a consensus opinion should be taken from all political parties, NGOs and churches before opening wine shop.

He also said that all NGOs and political parties including the ruling party should join hands to settle inter-state border dispute with neighbouring Assam.

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Co-Editor, Zoramobserver.com. Mr. Khojol is a journalist based in Aizawl, Mizoram. He writes for various national and regional media houses. In his free time, he can be caught reading books and watching movies.

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