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NESO rally against citizenship Bill
Staff Correspondent

Activists of the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) holding a rally against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 in Imphal on Friday. – UB Photos
 SHILLONG, Nov 30 - The North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) today demanded that the Central Government should withdraw the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 as the Bill will encourage illegal influx from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan into the North East.

The NESO staged a peaceful rally at the parking lot in front of the Additional Secretariat here and termed the Bill “anti-indigenous people.”

The NESO comprises the Khasi Students’ Union, All Assam Students’ Union, Naga Students’ Federation, Mizo Zirlai Pawl, Twipra Students’ Federation, All Manipur Students’ Union, Garo Students’ Union and All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union.

NESO chairman Samuel Jyrwa, addressing the gathering, said that the student bodies of the region would not accept the Bill and fight tooth and nail against it to protect the indigenous people from being swamped by illegal immigrants.

He termed the proposed legislation as “injustice” that is being meted out by the Centre to the people of the North East. The NESO will hold a protest rally at the national capital against the proposed Bill, he added.

Jyrwa said the indigenous tribes of Tripura have become a minority group in their own land due to influx of Bangladeshis from the neighbouring country. He reiterated that the NESO would not like a repeat of a Tripura-like situation.

The NESO chairman also criticised the Armed Forces Special Powers Act clamped in Jammu and Kashmir and the North East.

Itanagar correspondent adds: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union under the banner of the NESO took out a bike rally from Nyikum Niya Hall, Nirjuli, to the Tennis Court, IG Park in Itanagar, on Thursday to press for scrapping of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

NESO coordinator Pritam Bhai Sonam told reporters that they are not against any religion or community, but against the refugees who are seeking permanent settlement through this Bill.

This Bill is a threat to the indigenous people of Arunachal as well as the entire North Eastern region. “If it is not scrapped, we are all prepared to resort to any democratic movement to resist the Bill, the NESO leader said.

Warning that their protest would continue, AAPSU president Hawa Bagang called upon the Chief Minister to take a stand against the Bill.

“The Meghalaya and Mizoram governments have already announced to oppose the Bill. Why can our government not follow suit when it is already clear that the Bill, if passed, will bring miseries to the indigenous people,” Bagang said.

AAPSU general secretary Tobom Dai, meanwhile, called upon the people of the State to demonstrate their solidarity and loyalty towards their land by standing up against this “anti-people” Bill.

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