13-02-19 New Delhi- Students of North east states lighting candle (1)
Students of north-eastern states take part in lighting candle in honour of martyes in front of India gate, New Delhi on February 13, 2019 organized by AASU and NESO. Image by UB Photos

The North East Students’ Organization (NESO) has warned the Central Government to stop adopting and implementing policies which can be detrimental to the interest of the indigenous people of the Northeast.

The statement from NESO came hours after the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday announced sine die ‘without introduction and tabling the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in the House.

Terming the stalling of the Bill as a ‘moral victory’ for the indigenous people of the Northeast, the NESO congratulated the entire indigenous people of the region and said ‘it was through the people’s united and concerted effort’, the Centre was not been able to table the Bill at the floor of Upper House.

“We were able to stall the Bill only because of the united and continuous movement of the people. This, however, also goes on to show that the Government of India will not concede to our demands on a platter and we have to fight and struggle for the protection and survival of our indigenous people,” the NESO said.

The NESO further thanked all its component organizations, the state governments of Megalaya and Mizoram, student unions, social and women organizations and political parties that extended their support in opposing this Bill.

Meanwhile, the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has also welcomed the non-passing of Citizenship Bill in the Rajya Sabha.

The Union termed the development as a ‘huge victory’ for the people of Arunachal Pradesh in particular and the Northeast in general against the unmindful and bulldozing tactics of present BJP-led Union Government.

“The Bill would have had adverse impact on the demography, language, culture and identity of the indigenous people of Northeast region had it been passed by the Rajya Sabha,” Union president Hawa Bagang said while urging the Central government to not come up with such ‘anti-people’ Bill in the near future.

The AAPSU also extended its gratitude to all the individuals, organizations and political parties of the State that steadfastly stood against the contentious Bill despite all odds.

The proposed amendment to the Citizenship Bill was supposed to relax citizenship eligibility criteria for Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains, Christians and Buddhists who came from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh for reasons of religious persecution.

Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: lepcharaul@gmail.com

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