Amidst the ongoing protest against the controversial CAA, a BJP MLA from Assam has found ‘negativity’ in the amended citizenship law and has demanded ‘special provisions’ for tribals.
Since December 2019, several organisations, including the All Assam Students Union (AASU) launched a massive protest against the CAA.
The protesting organisations claimed that the new citizenship law is against the political interest of the people of Assam, and would change the demographic fabric of the state.
Subsequently, the protest spread across the length and breadth of India, including Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
Interestingly, Dr. Numol Momin, a BJP MLA, who was a guest at The Fourth Pillar, an interview-based programme hosted by Anirban Roy, editor-in-chief of Northeast Now, highlighted about the ‘negativity’ of CAA.
In fact, Dr. Momin is the first BJP leader in India to find any ‘negativity’ in the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019.
Despite odds, the NDA passed the CAA to grant citizenship to the ‘persecuted’ Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Christians, Parsis and Buddhists from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
“The only negativity in the Citizenship (Amendment) Act is the cut-off date of December 31, 2014,” Dr. Momin, the BJP MLA from Bokajan, said.
The medico-turned-politician is a tribal Garo from Karbi Anglong, strongly demanded that there should be special provisions in the CAA for the tribals of Bangladesh.
There is huge population of Garos distributed in Tangail, Jamalpur, Sherpore, Netrakona, Mymensingh, Rangpur, Sunamganj, Sylhet, and Moulovibazar districts of Bangladesh.
In addition to the Garos, there is huge population of Rabhas, Hajong, Bodos, Karbis and Khasis in the north and north-eastern part of Bangladesh.
“Since the Garos are Christians in Bangladesh and some of them are still Hindus, and if they are being persecuted, will get citizenship in India because of CAA,” he said.
The BJP MLA expressed serious concern that in addition to tribals from Bangladesh who met the December 31, 2014 deadline, there are still huge tribal population left behind, and they are being persecuted.
“This Citizenship (Amendment) Act is now preventing them from coming to India to save their lives,” Dr. Momin, who is also the spokesman of Assam BJP unit, said.
The BJP legislator said if the special provisions are not made in the CAA immediately, the Garos and other tribals in Bangladesh will either have to convert to Islam, or die.
“They are tribals, and if they are coming to northeast India to save their lives, we should help them,” Dr. Momin said.
Though Dr. Momin is in favour of CAA, and is even campaigning for special provisions for tribals of Bangladesh, people of Meghalaya have already rejected the CAA.
It would be interesting to see how the pressure groups, including the Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organisations (CoMSO) reacts to the Assam BJP MLA’s views on the CAA.