A SECTION of Panjab University students protested against the Citizenship Amendment Bill on Thursday. The protest was called by a conglomerate of 12 student organisations, including North-East Students Forum of PU, at the Student Centre. The Bill has led to much resentment in many states in the North East.
The students gathered at the Student Centre holding placards that read “Do not try to colonise us”. Chao Abhilash Rajkhow, a student from Assam, said, “The purpose of the protest was to express our anger at the fascist and anti-people Bill which will bring in migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.”
Abhilash, who is also a member of North East Students Forum at PU, said the Bill will aggravate the existing problem of unemployment. “The North East region will be overrun by about 1.90 crore Bangladeshis and other communities like Buddhist Chakmas and Tibetans,” he added.
A member of Student Organisation of India (SOI), however, said the Bill should be passed and those who are opposing it are against humanity. “All the migrants to the country must be scrutinised and the genuine ones should be given citizenship. We support this Bill.”
The Bill, which will amend the Citizenship Act of 1955, was proposed on July 19, 2018 in Lok Sabha. If the Bill is passed, illegal migrants belonging to the minority communities in the neighboring countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan will become eligible for Indian citizenship.
Calling the bill “communal”, Sandeep Kumar, a student of Public Administration and a member of Students For Society (SFS), alleged, “The Central government wants to polarise the North Eastern states. It is being introduced with an eye on the Lok Sabha elections. West Bengal has 42 LS seats while the North Eastern states have 24,” he said.