Rally taken out at Khwairamband market decrying CAB, MMWO burns copies of Bill

IMPHAL, Jan 11 (IFP): Decrying the passing of citizenship amendment bill (CAB), 2016 recently in Lok Sabha, many students bodies, women vendors of Khwairamband Ima markets took out a rally resulting in a confrontation with police and protestors. At least four protestors and one police officer were injured during confrontation. On the other hand, a state Muslim organisation protested by burning copies of CAB, 2016. Huge number of joint students’ bodies, All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU), Manipur Students’ Federation (MSF), Kangleipak Students’ Association (KSA), Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur (DESAM), Apunba Ireipakki Maheiroi Sinpanglup (AIMS) and Students’ Union of Kangleipak (SUK) marched the rally decrying the passing of CAB, 2016 from Thangmeiband. When they reached at Khwairamband Ima market, numbers of women folks joined the rally. Continuing the rally, the protestors marched towards the chief minister’s bungalow but before reaching, the rally was blocked by huge number of police force. As they were unable to continue their rally, it turned back towards Ima Market and continued around Khwairamband area chanting slogans such as  “Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016 must not implement in Manipur”, “P.M. Narendra Modi down down”, “long live Manipur.” Meanwhile confrontation took places between protestors and police and three tear gas shells were fired towards the protestors and the rally was dispersed. President of AMSU, Manjit Sarangthem stated that chief ministers of other states of the northeast India are standing against the bill but ruling political parties of Manipur are waiting for the consent of the central government. Instead of the decrying against the bill with co-operation, the entire political parties are playing blame game against each other to take political gain, he added. If bill is forcefully passed in Rajya Sabha and turns into an act, the peoples not only from mainland India but also illegal migrants from neighbouring countries will all come marching into the State. If they all come to Manipur under the umbrella of the act, indigenous people of the State will become extinct in the next few years, Manjit asserted. Students’ bodies strongly condemned the statement of cabinet decision in which it is mentioned that CAB, 2016 will not affect Manipur. It was an immature statement of the government and it must not be immaturely placed, Manjit claimed. On the other hand, decrying against the CAB, 2016, Manipur Muslim Welfare Organisation (MMWO) burnt down CAB, 2016 copies in front of its head office located at Hatta. President of MMWO, Abdula Phundreimayum alleged during a press conference that the reason why Manipur people’s protection bill is not being converted into an Act is because state government is supporting CAB, 2016 indirectly. He said passing of CAB, 2016 is a strategy of the central government in order to suppress the northeastern people and to abolish the indigenous of the region. He further said MMWO will stand against the bill to save indigenous rights of the State and MMWO will co-operate with other civil society organisations to protect the state against the bill. Meanwhile, spokesperson of All Manipur Muslim Organisations’ co-ordinating committee (AMMOCOC), Md. Raees Ahamed said CAB, 2019 is unsecular discriminatory bill. He said the bill seeking to replace the citizenship act of 1955 is problematic on many grounds. Without going into details, it violates the historic Assam accord 1985. Moreover these citizens gain permanent citizenship after 6 years of residency in the country instead of 11 years as mentioned in the citizenship act 1955. This communal granting of citizenship as against the secular ethics as claimed by the Indian constitution is supposed to bring the whole demography of the northeastern  region into invasion, he added. He further said AMMOCOC extends heartfelt solidarity to the people of northeast in general and Manipur in particular who are fighting against central government’s move of anti-indigenous people’ bill.
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