SHILLONG | Jan 12, 2019:
The two BJP MLAs of the State – Alexander Laloo Hek and Sanbor Shullai- have submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 which was passed by the Lok Sabha recently.
The two MLAs along with the State BJP president Shibun Lyngdoh were in Delhi today to attend the National Convention of the party.
In the memorandum submitted to Prime Minister, Shullai who is the party MLA from South Shillong, expressed his disappointment on the recent amendment brought in the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, which has triggered wide spread angst amongst the people of the North Eastern States.
According to him, the Bill will further aggravate the prevailing problem of influx of illegal migrants from Bangladesh, which the State has long been grappling with since independence.
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“The bill undermines the ongoing updation of 1951 NRC which like the Assam Accord also uses the 24 March 1971 cutoff date to determine the list of Assam Citizen; the new Bill will nullify the objective of the NRC as well as the foundation of Assam accord as it has a cutoff date of 31st December, 2014,” Shullai said.
Stating that Meghalaya shares an international porous boundary of approximately 443 Km. with Bangladesh, the BJP MLA from South Shillong said that the people of Meghalaya fear that the Bill will irrevocably dilute the strength of the indigenous population.
“The implementation of the amendment bill will adversely affect the Tribal belt of Meghalaya wherein the people are socially and economically backward compared to other neighbouring States and the same would threaten their peaceful existence.
The bill will further encourage illegal influx to the State of Meghalaya who will misuse the law to obtain citizenship in the country,” the BJP MLA said.
He, however, observed that it has been witnessed that a large number of Bangladesh nationals have already illegally entered the state in the past several decades, more would come and seek to stay here and take refuge under the bill.
“In the process causing a further damage to the state’s demography and reduce the indigenous communities into a minority,” Shullai stated stated.
Furthermore, he stated that Meghalaya and Northeast as a whole do not have proper international boundary fencing or demarcations and many boundaries of the state are easily accessible by Bangladeshi illegal migrants.
The BJP MLA from South Shillong said this bill may violate Article 14 of the Constitution which guarantees right to equality and the bill may be deemed “unconstitutional”.
“The proposed implementation of the bill has caused widespread resentment amongst the people of my State and Northeast as a whole and as such has made me reconsider my allegiance with the party,” Shullai said.
Furthermore, he stated that the bill was passed not taking into consideration the plight of the people of the Northeastern States and “this shows negligence of the National party towards the people of the region,” he said.
Requesting the Centre to reconsider the implementation of the bill in Northeastern States, Shullai said “I request the Government to reconsider or omit Bangladesh from the proposed bill failing which I shall have no other option but to take a strong decision considering the plight of the people of my State.”