‘General Secretary of Manipur students’ body protesting against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill picked up by police’

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Students’ groups claim Amarjit Ningthouja was picked up from his home

The General Secretary of Reformist Students’ Front, a students body in Manipur, which is protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, was picked by the police.

According to a statement of the Manipur Students’ Association, Delhi (MSAD), Amarjit Ningthouja was picked up from his home at Khngabok, Thoubal district.

“Till now his whereabout is not known and the state police refuse to share the information with us. MSAD, in association with Reformist Students’ Front (RSF), Socialist Students’ Union of Manipur (SSUM), All Manipur Muslim Students’ Organisation (AMMSO) and All Meitei-Pangal Students’ Union of Manipur (AMPSUM) have been in a state-wide campaign for the last few weeks against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (CAB) that was passed by India’s Lok Sabha on 8th of January. The Bill is specifically designed in Delhi so as to push the native population of the entire “North-East” to the edge of annihilation; socially, politically, economically and culturally et at,” the statement said.

The statement further added, “when the whole of the ‘North-East’ region is burning in resistance and protest against the racist CAB, Manipur’s MPs in Rajya Sabha and the CM fail to ensure the people that they oppose this Bill. It is as if they have always to be knocked at their heads as reminder that they do not represent their masters in Delhi but the people of Manipur.”

MSAD extended their support to the boycott of Republic Day of India function in Manipur.

Mizoram’s powerful NGOs including apex students’ body Mizo Zirlai Pawl MZP and Young Mizo Association (YMA) boycotted the Republic Day of India function.

“If the pleas of the Mizos are constantly disregarded, then youths will have no other way than to pick up the gun… We might be compelled to pick up arms,” said MZP general secretary Lalnunmawia Pautu.

“Now we remind ourselves that this government, both the central and the state, are in inextricable collaboration to enslave the indigenous people. Therefore, we extend our solidarity and support to the boycott call of India’s Republic Day celebration in Manipur by various student bodies. Also, we demand the unconditional release of our comrade, Amarjit Ningthouja. Lastly, we call for a more intense struggle and resistance against this colonial policy of India,” the statement added.

On Friday, five students were injured in Manipur after the police fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators heading towards Rajya Sabha MP, Kshetrimayum Bhabananda Singh’s house, in Imphal.

The protestors were demanding that the MP oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, in the parliament.

Two student groups tried to storm the MP’s residence. The five students who fainted belonged to the first group, comprising the All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU), Manipur Students’ Federation, Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur, Kangleipak Students’ Association, Students’ Union of Kangleipak and the Apunba Irreipakki Maheirosing Singpanglup, according to the North East Today.

On Thursday, thousands of youngsters in Mizoram hit the streets in various towns of the state to protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

Many of them held banners that read, “Hello China, Bye Bye India”.

The bill has been criticised for being communal and being used by BJP to settle Hindus from neighbouring countries in the border regions at the cost of the natives.

The bill, seeks to grant citizenship to Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Christian, Parsi and Jain migrants from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan if they have lived in India for six years.

The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha earlier this month, and is likely to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha during its next sitting, scheduled to begin from January 30.

Recently, Amit Shah, BJP President, while accusing the Trinamool Congress of “misleading” people on the National Register of Citizens (NRC), said that Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh refugees in the state ‘need not be afraid’ because the Bill has been brought to grant them citizenship.

Speaking at a rally in Malda, Shah said, “We have brought the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill to grant citizenship to each and every Hindu Bangladeshi.”

Recently, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that if the Citizen (Amendment) Bill 2016 is not passed, it will be a surrender to the ‘philosophy of Jinnah‘.

Sarma also added that the purpose of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was to “detect Jinnahs”.

In the north-eastern state of Assam, India has published a list which strips four million people of their citizenship. It says the process is to root out hordes of illegal Bangladeshi migrants.

The list, named as the National Register of Citizens (NRC), is a list of people who can prove they came to the state by 24 March 1971, when Bangladesh was created.

The list has sparked fears of targeted hunting towards ethnic minorities in Assam. However, officials have said that no one will face immediate deportation and that the option of an appeal will be available to all.

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