Mizoram boycotts R-Day function in protest against Citizenship Bill, powerful students’ body warn of ‘taking up arms’


In protest agains the citizenship amendment Bill, 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.

Protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill have been increasing.

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.

Image Credit: thenortheasttoday.com

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.

Image Credit: Indian Express.

Speaking at a rally in Malda, Shah said, “I want to assure all refugees living in Bengal — Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh — that they need not be afraid . 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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