GUWAHATI: An anti-corruption group-turned-political party in Mizoram has accused Governor Prof Jagdish Mukhi of being “anti-Mizo” as he has not yet given his assent to a National Register of Citizens-type Bill.
Opposition People’s Right to Information and Development Implementation Society of Mizoram (PRISM) said the Mizos wanted to identify themselves by having a “Population Register”. This is an envisaged exercise whereby the state government seeks to document each and every family in the state.
“We want to have the Population Register by which we can identify ourselves. Our Assembly had passed the Mizoram Maintenance of Household Register Bill, 2019 for this purpose. But it is still pending in the Governor's office. By this, we thought that our Governor is anti-Mizo. We request him to give his assent to the Bill,” PRISM general secretary H Lalremsiama said.
Prof Mukhi, the Governor of Assam, is holding the additional charge of Mizoram.
Lalremsiama said the Mizos felt their interests were being hurt by certain recent activities.
“Our good preventive laws are under threat. Our free movement facility across India-Myanmar border has come to a halt. And now, the government is trying to open up the India-Bangladesh border through the passage of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. Regulations under Inner Line Permit (ILP) and Restricted Area Permit (RAP) are also under threat,” he said.
PRISM president Vanlalruata said it was time the Mizos took action for their land, nation and religion.
“We all know that we have good preventive laws. No foreigner can visit our land without having RAP. Similarly, no Indian can come to our land without carrying ILP. However, it is presumed that they (government) are trying to lift these. It is difficult to believe we will have these if India-Myanmar and India-Bangladesh border trade and Act East Policy flourish through our land. How can we survive without ILP and RAP?” Vanlalruata wondered.
He alleged the Centre was keen on withdrawing all regional special provisions. He said if the Citizenship Bill was passed, there would be a large-scale influx of people from Bangladesh and Mizoram would be among states to be affected.
“There will be an increase in immigration from Bangladesh and the immigrants might assimilate with us. That will clearly affect our religion also,” the PRISM president said.