NEW DELHI: More than 200 students from Manipur gathered at Jantar Mantar to demand the scrapping of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, saying that it posed a “threat” to the northeastern states.
The Bill aims to amend the 1955 Citizenship Act to provide citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
A joint body of nine students’ organisations, with members from Democratic Students Alliance of Manipur, All Manipur Students’ Union, and Students’ Union Of Kangleipak among others, had organised the demonstration.
The protestors were joined by students from Tripura and Manipur Students’ Association Delhi (MSAD).
“Why has the BJP government suddenly become so generous to people living in other countries? If they are actually that generous, why not to Rohingyas from Mynamar, who are the most oppressed religious minority? The BJP is only concerned about Hindus,” MSAD president Veewon Thokchom told this newspaper.
“If they wish to bring people from outside, why not send them to other states as well,” he said. “It’s not just about culture but basic survival. We don’t want to be marginalised in our own state, like Tripuris,” he stressed.
Noting that Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said the Bill was for all states, Thokchom alleged that “to get votes” the Bill was brought before the Assam Assembly polls in 2016. “The BJP now needs this desperately because Lok Sabha elections are approaching. There is no humane concern. Look at the condition of Dalits and minorities inside the country.”