Northeast groups divided over exemption of areas under ILP and sixth scheduleUpdated: Dec 05, 2019 01:31 IST
Guwahati: The Centre’s move to exempt states with inner line permit regime and areas under sixth schedule of the Constitution from the purview of the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill has evoked a mixed response.
Civil society groups in Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh said they will continue to protest against the “divisive” provisions of the CAB, while an influential Mizo group said they have no further concerns about the proposed law.
“We are opposed to the CAB. The move to exempt some areas is an attempt to divide the people of Northgeast,” said Hawa Bawang, president of the All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union referring to the Centre’s move to exempt states which have an inner line permit regime and areas which come under sixth schedule of the Constitution from the purview of the proposed law.
“We are one region. Assam and AASU have sacrificed so much. The Government of India has created a situation where they are leaving one leg intact and injuring the other leg,” said Bawang.
Ninoto Awomi, the president of the Naga Students Federation said the students body was happy that Nagaland has been exempted but will continue to abide by the stand of the NESO, the umbrella body of student groups in the region which has been opposed to the proposed legislation.
The NESO has called for a meeting on December 6, to discuss its future strategy according to both Bawang and Awomi.
As per reports the draft of the amendment approved by the Union Cabinet would fasttrack citizenship to six non-Muslim religious groups from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The amendment proposes to exempt states with inner line permit regime and areas which are under the sixth schedule of the Indian Constitution from the purview of the law.
“I don’t think this exemption means much. Once a person gets citizenship he is free to move or live in any part of the country,” said Promode Bodo, the president of the All Bodo Students Union which has considerable influence in the four Bodo Territorial Area Districts, an area in Assam protected by the sixth schedule of the Constitution.
Meanwhile, in Mizoram, the powerful Central Young Mizo Association said it had no problems with the latest draft of the bill. “We have been assured that Mizoram is exempted. We have no concerns after the assurance,” said Vanlal Ruata, CYMA Chief.
Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and most of Nagaland barring its commercial hub Dimapur are protected by an ILP regime which regulates entry of outsiders while there are certain areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura which have special provisions under sixth schedule of the Constitution.