Gangtok, January 16: With 'Citizenship Amendment Bill’ tabled in the Parliament Session, many northeastern states faced massive protest and to pacify the issue Union Minister Rajnath Singh has decided to meet the chief ministers of these states to discuss protection of rights and people’s interests.
Giving an assurance in separate meetings with different delegations headed by Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Rajnath Singh ensured that the center is working hard towards protecting the rights of the people across the country.
The Home Ministry statement stated that Rajnath Singh assured the delegations that the interests of all North Eastern states, including Manipur and Assam, and their culture and heritage will be fully protected. Manipur CM Biren Singh met Rajnath Singh on Saturday along with Manipur BJP President and Rajya Sabha MP Ksh. Bhabananda Singh and submitted a memorandum to him for giving Presidential assent to Manipur People’s (Protection) Bill, 2018, passed by the Manipur Assembly on July 23, 2018. Rajnath Singh told him that the ministry will examine the Bill which seeks to protect the interest of indigenous population of the state.
The proposed Citizenship Bill has triggered apprehension in the region that it will not be in the interest of the indigenous people of North-East. Various North-East parties maintained that once the Bill is implemented, the region could be flooded with a large number of illegal immigrants and foreigners from neighboring countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Myanmar and so on, as international borders are porous.
A delegation from Assam led by the Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also met Rajnath Singh this weekend over the issue. Several representatives of the Bodo groups including the Bodoland Territorial Council chief Hagrama Muhilary also met the Home Minister over the weekend and discussed the various outstanding demands of the Bodo community.
Rajnath Singh said while introducing the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha on January 8, he had made it clear that the Bill is not meant for the individuals belonging to six minorities who have come from one particular country. “It is also not meant for individuals who are living in one particular state.”