GUWAHATI: Just days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke about the Centre’s plan to go ahead with the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, a forum of indigenous people in the Northeast has announced to launch a “movement” against the Bill.
The North East Forum for Indigenous People (NEFIP) urged the Centre to not introduce the Bill in the Rajya Sabha. It condemned the statement of Shah as well as Assam’s Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who hinted about the Bill’s introduction in the Rajya Sabha by November-December.
Members from all over the Northeast attended at a meeting in Kohima on Thursday to discuss the issue.
NEFIP president Ningthouja Lancha said the forum would “sensitise” indigenous communities on the ill effects of the Bill.
He demanded that the legislative assemblies in all Northeast states adopt a resolution urging the Centre to take measures to implement in letter and spirit the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
NEFIP general secretary Robertjune Kharjahrin also slammed political parties for allegedly misleading the people on the Bill.
Another 200 foreigners’ tribunals in Assam
The Assam government has notified the setting up of 200 more Foreigners’ Tribunals (FTs) which will take their overall number to 300. Their formation was necessitated as over 19 lakh people were excluded from the NRC.
The government has already appointed 221 new “members” who will head the FTs. The NRC-rejects will have to file appeals in the FTs to challenge their cases.
The will get a 120-day window for the same. The process will begin as and when the NRC authorities start issuing the “speaking orders” to the excluded citing the reasons of their exclusions.
People not getting relief in the FTs can subsequently move the Gauhati High Court and then the Supreme Court.
As of now, none of the excluded can be identified as an illegal immigrant.