SHILLONG |Dec 8 | NNN
Various civil bodies of Garo Hills in Meghalaya have come together to voice their opposition against the Centre’s move to implement the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).
The organisations have also decided to create a new forum christened as All Garo Hills Joint Action Committee (AGHJAC), which through democratic protests will seek the implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) within the state of Meghalaya.
The AGHJAC argued that in spite of the CAB being exempted in most of the states, the bill itself is dangerous as it will legitimise people from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh (other than Muslims) to get Indian citizenship and thereafter have the right to vote, freedom of movement etc.
“We have decided to oppose the implementation of CAB and instead demand the implementation of ILP in the state. We have also resolved to protest the bill through peaceful means,” said the Convener of the AGHJAC, Balkarin Ch Marak.
The AGHJAC has also slammed former MLA of Tikrikilla and BJP member, KC Boro for opposing the Meghalaya Resident Safety and Security Act (MRSSA). In this regard, the forum alleged that Boro is trying to mislead the people.
“The MRSSA has been amended in such a way that freedom of movement of Indian citizens will not be affected. He should first go through the Act before giving statements on the subject,” added AGHJAC.
Members of the AGHJAC are also of the opinion that opposing the MRSSA will not bring a solution but only divide the various tribes within the state. “KC Boro should apologise for his statement,” they added.
The new JAC added that there seems to be some vested interests at play over the misrepresentation of the word ‘unrepresented tribes’ which appears in the latest amendment of the Sixth Schedule.
“This word is not applicable to the state of Meghalaya as we do not have any unrepresented tribes in Garo Hills. Minority tribal like the Koch, Hajong, Rabhas and Boros are representing their tribes in the legislative assembly as well as the district councils,” added the AGHJAC.