CAB to open flood gate in NE for illegal migrants: Panelists

JPC as joint poop committee 

Terming JPC as joint poop committee for not including Chakma-Hajong refuges, whose number could be around  one lakh, Pradeep Kumar said falsely enlisting total “persecuted persons” around 31,313 (Hindus-25,447; Sikhs-5,807; Christians-56 and Buddhists & Parsis 2each), as admitted by the GoI.

Responding to a question at Itanagar from this editor – if granting citizenship to Chakama-Hajongs was not violation of BEFR, 1873? -, then Home Minister P Chidambaram had quipped – give solution, why arguing!

It would be worth mentioning here that it was then CM’s special secretary K D Singh was instrumental in GoAP publishing a “White paper on Chakma and Hajong refugee issue” in 1996, which reads: The decision of the GoI to grant citizenship to these refugees without taking indigenous people into confidence angered all sections of state’s people. In August 1994, the AAPSU served a “Quit Arunachal Pradesh” notice on them. An all-party rally at Nahralgun on 26.09.95 had resolved to demand that the GoI deport the refugees by 31.12.95.

By A O News Service

ITANAGAR, Nov 08: The pros and corn of Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), buzz word of media today, brought to limelight during a brain storming hour-long discussion in Capital New channel here on Thursday with Roshni Perying as anchor.

She laid the ground for discussion by panelists RGU Prof (Pol Sc) Nani Bath, senior journalist Pradeep Kumar, state BJP general secretary Lilong Lingfa, PPA secretary general Kaling Jerang, NESO coordinator/AAPSU adviser Pritam Bhai Sonam and continued to punctuate with numerous questions.

Prof Bath – “The CAB was introduced in Lok Sabha on 19.05.16 to amend Citizenship Act of 1955 to grant citizenship to illegal migrants from minority communities of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, Christian of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who entered into India on or before the 31. 12.14, on condition it they have lived in India for 11 years, which was reduced to 6 years later.

“Terming it unconstitutional being religion-based is wrong as job reservation religion-based too, he said indicating at various confusions”.

Lingfa – “Where Hindus will be protected if not in world’s only Hindu Rashtra India and Nepal? India is a secular nation and its Constitution envisions equality for all for which the Bill is not unconstitutional. There are numerous displaced illegal migrants since 60s and 70s and the Act was amended five times earlier to accommodate them and who facilitated settlement of migrants of Bangladesh in Arunachal is known to all.

“India is known for its Atithi Devo Bhava mantra since ancient age and the BJP adopted Sabka SaathSabka Vikas for all-round development for one and all”.

Jerang – “Strongly opposing CAB which will make us unsafe as Arunachal is a state protected by Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873 and indigenous people alone have rights over land, natural resources & trade. All know that the Supreme Court due to a PIL in 2004 had directed the GoI to grant citizenship to 1497 Chakma-Hajong refugees settled temporarily. They are enrolled in electoral rolls by Election Commission in contradiction of BEFR, 1873 which specifies need of Inner Line Permit (ILP) by any Indian citizen to enter the state. Why the Muslims have not been covered by the Bill? This religion-based Bill aims to protect refugee for which there is hue and cry in NE India.”

Sonam – “NESO/AAPSU have zero tolerance towards CAB as first Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) chairman Satyapal Singh never visited NE. A NESO team had met 2nd JPC chairman P. Rajendra Aggarwal (MP Ninong Ering was its member) at Shillong and urged him to visit Tirap, Changlang & Diyun to know the status of illegal migrants,  but the team visited Shillong, Silchar & Guwahati and submitted its report .

“Tripura is a gone case and Assam is in process for Bangladeshi refugees. There are over 80 lakh migrants in Assam & West Bengal since 60s.  With the National Register of Citizens (NRC) excluding 90 lakh residents in Assam, there is apprehension that these people might migrate illegally into Arunachal through porous border for which the ILP should be strengthened. Why should GoI treat NE as dumping ground of migrants? This anti-Indian and anti-indigenous people Bill will threaten existence of Indians.

Jerang pointed out that when a team met then Dy Prime Minister L K Advani on granting citizenship to Chakma-Hajong refugees, his response was very negative.

Chakma-Hajong population in Arunachal is confusing for no survey, but GoAP data puts it as 49,000 (Chakma-46,600 & Hajong-2,400), Prof Bath said, adding 5,000 of them seeking citizenship by birth.

It was AAPSU which moved the SC against grant of citizenship to Chakam-Hajongs and the matter is still sub-judice, Sonam said, adding AAPSU had staged protest in Delhi in 2004 and 2015, there was bloodshed claiming lives of few activists and the fight will continue if SC gives unfavourable verdict.

‘CAB BJP’s vote bank politics’

The CAB implementation assured by the BJP in 2014 election manifest is vote bank politics keeping West Bengal assembly polls in 2021, said Prof Bath and quoted Mizoram CM Zoramthanga, who had advocated that NEFR, 1873 be brought under Constitution’s Article 9 of Sect 3 to make it non-amendable to protect Arunachal people.

When Jerang pointed out that the consultative committee on CAB formed by CM Pema Khandu to endorsing opinions of the civil society should have included representatives from various sections including political parties, Lingfa said that it is a GoAP committee. But Prof Bath said it was discriminatory as CAB would amount to cultural invasion while Sonam added “internal invasion”.

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