Despite efforts by the state government to convince them otherwise, Mizoram’s powerful NGOs including apex students’ body Mizo Zirlai Pawl MZP and Young Mizo Association (YMA) have stuck to their resolution to boycott Republic Day celebrations in protest against the citizenship amendment Bill.
The resolution was passed on Wednesday as thousands gathered in Aizawl to protest the Bill.
MZP general secretary Lalnunmawia Pautu told The Indian Express, “We had submitted a memorandum and made repeated demands to the central government to not pass the Bill, because it is extremely dangerous for people of Mizoram…If the pleas of the Mizos are constantly disregarded, then youths will have no other way than to pick up the gun… We might be compelled to pick up arms.”
The protest march through Aizawl on Wednesday saw a turnout of more than 30,000 people, with effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh being burnt. Numerous posters saying “Hello China, Bye Bye India” were also seen during the march.
“…Students marched on the streets saying ‘Hello China’, which basically means we are not safe under the Union Government of India,” Lalhmachhuana, general secretary of central committee of YMA, told The Indian Express.
Pautu and Lalhmachhuana said the biggest threat the Bill poses for Mizoram is the influx of “illegal Chakmas”. Large sections of Mizos do not consider Chakmas a part of Mizoram, and blame the community for illegal migration from Bangladesh.