DIMAPUR, SEPTEMBER 11 (MExN): The North East Forum for Indigenous People (NEFIP) today termed Union Home Minister, Amit Shah’s statements on the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) and illegal immigration as “empty, misleading” and as displaying a “double standard”
“The very concept of CAB is an attempt to naturalise citizenship of illegal immigrants in the region,” a press release from the NEFIP SAID, expressing opposition to the CAB in its present form.
The bill seeks to provide that persons belonging to minority communities, that is, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan shall not be treated as illegal immigrants and that the Third Schedule of the 1955 Act is proposed to be amended to decrease the residency requirement from 11 years to six years.
“The CAB seeks to make drastic changes in the citizenship and immigration norms of the country by relaxing the criteria to become an Indian citizen,” it pointed out.
“It will be totally incorrect to believe that the people of the North East do not know what will benefit them or not and such type of imposition of bio power despite the opposition to it is nothing but a hangover of the colonial mindset and interior colonisation to enforce a strict demographic hierarchy through suppressing the indigenous people of this region, which will further distance them from the mainstream,” the NEFIP stated.
It therefore appealed to the leadership at the centre not to take the North East indigenous people for a ride with rhetoric assurances but to address their concerns with all seriousness and with a pragmatic approach.
It may be noted that during the Home Minister’s recent attendance at the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) conclave, he had stated that CAB will not be in conflict with the Inner Line Permit (ILP) legislation in force in some states in the region, would not affect existing laws on indigenous rights, and had assured to “expel all illegal immigrants not just from Assam but the entire country.”