Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh Friday categorically stated that his government strongly opposes the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) until a clause is inserted in the Bill giving protection to the indigenous people of Manipur and Northeast region.
The Chief Minister said the people’s apprehension over the Citizenship Bill is genuine for ‘we have been betrayed’ several times in the past.
The merger agreement, the imposition of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Indo-Myanmar border Agreement 1967 are among others which still haunts the people, he said.
“We feel the same way the people do. We have the same fear. We are very wary in the event of unfamiliar policies due to our earlier experiences for we are the sons of the soil”, he added.
N. Biren Singh, however, assured that his government is with the people and will fight for the people and the state.
The recent cabinet decision to pressure the Centre for exempting Manipur from the purview of the Bill and seeking Presidential Assent on the Manipur People’s Bill, speaks for itself on the serious concern of the government for its people, said Singh.
He appealed to the people to refrain from orchestrating things during agitations that could hurt the sentiment of other communities and also which can put the state in bad light.
Instead, he urged the people to jointly pressure the Central Government to give assent to the Manipur Peoples Bill, 2016 unanimously passed by the House.
Meanwhile, traffic in Imphal was disrupted for the third consecutive day by protestors agitating against the Citizenship Bill.
The protest is a part of the “on road mass indefinite protest” which began last Thursday launched by the Manipur Peoples Against Citizenship Amendment Bill (MANPAC), an umbrella group of over 70 civil society organisations operating in Manipur.
Protestors and police clashed in some places of Imphal while trying to disperse the road blockades. However, no casualty was reported during the clash. Mass sit-in demonstrations were also organised across the state denouncing and demanding the withdrawal of the Bill.