Available at The Shillong Times
Published on 01 November 2019
Rights group warns against ‘tweaked’ CAB
GUWAHATI: New Delhi-based think-tank, Rights and Risk Analysis Group, has warned that more than 10 lakh people from the ILP states of Northeast could be “dumped into Assam” if the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) is tweaked and tabled in Parliament.
The Centre is expected to place the revised CAB in the winter session of Parliament beginning November 18 to address the crisis arising out of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) of Assam and its intention to carry out the NRC nation wide to weed out alleged illegal immigrants.
“If the CAB is tweaked to exempt the ILP states of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland and the Manipur People’s Protection Bill 2018 is given assent, more than 10 lakh people from these states can be identified as illegal residents under the nation-wide NRC following adoption of the CAB and be dumped into Assam which shares the borders with all these states,” Suhas Chakma, director of the Rights and Risks Analysis Group, said here on Friday.
“Assam, instead of expelling the alleged foreigners, will end up receiving over a million people before 2024,” Chakma cautioned.
Given the vociferous protests of late against CAB in the Northeast, the ministry of home affairs (MHA) and the ruling BJP have proposed to tweak the CAB to ensure that the Bill does not override the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR) of 1873 under which Indian nationals are required to take Inner Line Permit (ILP) for entry into Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram and the CAB will not be applicable for these states.
Further, the Manipur People’s Protection Bill, 2018 has been passed by the state Assembly to expel non-Manipuris (persons who or whose forefathers were not living in Manipur before 1951).
He said that BEFR was enacted in 1873 and all the ILP states were 100 per cent tribal areas in 1873 and all the non-tribals who cannot establish their descent from 1873 are illegal residents unless they have been settled by the Union of India such as the settlements in Arunachal Pradesh following Indo-China war in 1962.
As per the 2011 census, Mizoram had 61,091 non tribals, Nagaland had 2, 67,529 nontribals and Arunachal Pradesh had 4,31,906 non-tribals while Manipur had lakhs of people who might not have documents to prove their residence prior to 1951. “All these people are expected to be dumped into Assam,” Chakma reiterated.
He further said that the tweaked CAB would be another instrument to target Indian citizen minorities in the ILP states.
“An overwhelming majority of 35,000 Brus of Mizoram living in relief camps of Tripura since October 1997 has not been taken back because of lack of documents from Mizoram, while in 2017, Nagaland had withdrawn the Scheduled Tribe status from the Rongmeis, one of the Naga sub-tribes, on the ground that they are not indigenous to Nagaland.” he said.