Representational image
Representational image.

In a memorandum submitted to union home minister Amit Shah on Saturday, the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) has strongly opposed the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB).

“The KSU would like to express its stiff opposition and utter resentment to the proposed Bill, which seeks to grant citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsees, Christians and Buddhists migrants,” the KSU said.

“This bill is being proposed by the Central government without taking into account all the aspects including the demographic structure of entire Northeast including Meghalaya,” it further said.

“Though the KSU is not against any humanitarian venture by the country yet it feels that prior to the implementation of any international humanitarian act, the humanitarian perspective of the microscopic indigenous communities of NE India should first be taken into account,” KSU added.

“As per knowledge, it is known that there are approximately 14 million Hindus in Bangladesh,” the KSU memorandum added.

It further stated that there are over 1 million ethnic Khasis in Meghalaya and that they are currently facing the wrath of unabated influx from migrants belonging to other communities.

“In Shillong itself, the indigenous Khasi population has been reduced to not more than 50 per cent compared to past statistics,” the KSU said.

“Therefore, if such a bill is passed or if immediate citizenship is issued to the said migrants then the indigenous communities of NE India and Meghalaya are bound to be wiped out or depopulate by these migrants,” the apex student body reiterated.

“If, suppose from the 14 million Bangladeshi Hindus, 3 million seeks or are granted Indian citizenship thereby settling in Meghalaya, then the 1 million Khasi populace will be reduced to a minority in a snap of a finger,” KSU reiterated.

“This, in turn, will lead to unimaginable discrimination of the tribal rights, customs and their political, economic and social rights which ultimately will result in their extinction and forced assimilation into the dominant communities,” the memorandum added.

Calling CAB “draconian in nature”, KSU urged the Centre that instead of implementing it should find ways and means to safeguard the interest and survival of the indigenous people of the region.

“The KSU in this context appeals to the Centre to facilitate the speedy implementation of the Eastern Bengal Frontier Regulation 1873 or the Inner Line Permit, non-application of the Indo-Nepal Friendship Treaty 1950 in Meghalaya and Northeast,” the student body added.

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